The Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee (WCC), headed by former England captain Mike Gatting, and comprising other notable figures such as Sourav Ganguly, Jhulan Goswami, Heather Knight, Ramiz Raja, Justin Langer, Graeme Smith, Kumar Sangakkara, and Eoin Morgan assembled at Lord's prior to the second Ashes Test to evaluate the current condition of international cricket.
Following the meeting, the committee questioned the role men’s One Day International (ODI) cricket now plays outside of ICC World Cups and recommended it be significantly reduced following the completion of the 2027 ICC Men’s World Cup.
The suggestion is that a scarcity of ODI cricket would increase the quality, achieved by removing bilateral ODIs, other than in the one-year preceding each World Cup. This would, as a consequence, also create much-needed space in the global cricketing calendar.
Moreover, the MCC panel suggested the implementation of strategic funds to safeguard Test cricket and promote the growth of women's cricket. The committee highlighted the emerging disparity between nations, noting that the current system heavily favors a minority of dominant teams.
"The committee voiced particular concern for the survival of Test cricket in nations outside of India, Australia and England, with the associated impact brought about by a narrowing competition pool," mentioned the MCC release.
As a result, the committee recommended that the ICC undertake a "Test match financial audit," which would help it "identify nations in need of support in order to sustain a Test match programme," following which "this need could be a subsequently addressed via a separate Test match fund, established to protect the sanctity of Test match cricket."
"The committee continues to hear of the growing unaffordability to host men's Test match cricket in many nations and concluded that the game currently lacks quantifiable data on the costs of hosting a Test match across its member nations. To address this lack of insight, it proposed a recommendation for the ICC to undertake a Test match financial audit to provide a clearer picture. This audit of operational costs versus commercial return would help the ICC identify nations in need of support in order to sustain a Test match programme. This need could be subsequently addressed via a separate Test fund, established to protect the sanctity of Test match cricket," mentioned the MCC release.
The committee also proposed global measures to promote the growth of women's cricket and stated that each nation must commit to investing in women's cricket and fielding a women's team.
"It believes that the best way to support this objective is to establish a substantial and ring-fenced ICC Strategic Fund that can be allocated on a need-to-know basis to full member and associate nations that, amongst other key initiatives, fully commit to their women's pathway and national team," it added.