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Cricket Australia CEO Hockley denies reports of ignoring study on saving Test cricket

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Cricket Australia CEO Hockley denies reports of ignoring study on saving Test cricket

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley firmly quashed reports over the governing body, as well as India and England ignoring a study presented to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for saving Test cricket.

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald stated that Australia, England and India didn’t take action on a paper penned mainly by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chair Martin Snedden who proposed several changes to the future tours program (FTP) which would save Test cricket’s future.

“Categorically. I think there was some misreporting around that. Certainly the discussions I’m in at the moment are very much thinking about how we can optimise the calendar and how we can continue to grow cricket around the world,” said Hockley on SEN Radio.

Those changes proposed by Snedden included additional windows for T20 leagues other than the IPL, a change to the World Test Championship points system, tighter ODI structures, 40-over ODI cricket suggestions, concerns about T20 internationals and a consideration of pooling of broadcast rights revenue for bilateral cricket.

Hockley revealed caught up with Snedden during day one of the ongoing Wellington Test and asserted that Australia is very much involved in ICC’s vision to grow the game in all territories and have all three formats of cricket thrive at the same time.

“We had a great catch-up with Martin here yesterday. We’re very much involved with that piece of work. I think at Cricket Australia we’ve got good influence and I think we’ve got a really important role to play around the ICC in terms of driving strategy.”

“I think that Cricket Australia has been behind many of the developments. Whether that’s the introduction of the World Test Championship I’m on the FTP working group with the ICC, and making sure that we’re keeping all three formats healthy and strong, that we’re growing the game in all territories.”

“It’s just brilliant to see the way that the T20 World Cup in the US has been embraced. I understand that ticket sales were 20 times oversubscribed when they were when they were released. So, I think cricket has a great opportunity to have a format strategy where all the formats play a role and all fit together.”

Hockley also said what Australia have their vision towards the future of Test cricket. “That is really the essence of the work that Martin has started. It’s incumbent on all of us as members working together to make sure that we continue to take it forward.”

“Practically, it is making sure that the World Test Championship is given greater prominence so each Test series has context. I think it’s looking at the economic viability in different territories and how we make sure that it is economically viable for those countries where it isn’t (currently).”

“Still for Australia … men’s Test cricket is the most valuable property. So, it’s really working together. Then on the calendar, it’s trying to configure the calendar in a way that there’s space for all three formats,” he concluded.

–IANS

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