The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) responds to yesterday’s release of the men’s Future Tours Programme 2018 – 2023 (FTP).
“It is a positive that this FTP is structured to fit with the introduction of a nine team World Test Championship and a 13 team ODI League,” said FICA’s Executive Chairman, Tony Irish. “It is hoped that the World Test Championship and the ODI League will introduce much needed context into international cricket.”
“We think that the scheduling of the ODI League represents a significant step forward because it reflects that the global competition can only consist of three matches per series, which makes it simple for fans to follow and cuts out meaningless ODI matches. We continue however to urge the ICC to develop a clear pathway for smaller and associate countries to participate in this League.”
“The World Test Championship does not have the same degree of consistency in the scheduling and different series constitute different numbers of matches depending on who is playing, which will make any points system a challenge to follow. Whilst it’s an improvement on what currently exists, and the culmination in a Test final every two years does add context, time will tell how effective this will be as a global competition scheduled in this way.”
FICA notes that the FTP does not formally recognise domestic T20 leagues or provide for any international cricket windows. “One of the global game’s current challenges lies in the tension between the traditional international cricket landscape and the T20 leagues landscape,” said Irish. “This problem can’t be solved by simply restricting players from playing in T20 leagues and FICA will continue to oppose any attempts to unfairly regulate or to restrict players if used as a means of attempting to solve inherent imbalances in the structure of the game.”
“So whilst this FTP is definitely a step in the right direction, we are hoping that it will be viewed as a first wave of reform in the global game” concluded Irish.