Test cricket is losing its appeal faster than probably any format in sports, which is why the proposal for a Test Championship is again being discussed.
It has been proposed by Martin Crowe, New Zealand’s former captain, who made his proposals to a world cricket committee.
Crowe’s proposal takes the form of rounds of Test matches, similar to football’s major tournaments, with it concluding in semi-finals and finals.
The change could help West Indies cricket which is in an even worse state than ever before having lost five out of six matches to Bangladesh, the worse Test playing side in the world.
There is now talk of a break-up of the West Indies as a regional side for Tests with separate nations representing.
Trinidad and Tobago are the most vocal wanting to go solo. Possibly Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and a Combined Islands team could compete at Test level if the ICC approves.
The intention is that West Indies would only be represented at the World Cup and in Twenty20 tournaments.
Theo Cuffy is technical director Cayman cricket and a former captain of the Trinidad national side.
He thinks a break-up of the West Indies side is rank nonsense.
‘Having a Test championship spread over four years is worth considering to add excitement,’ he said. ‘The modern generation now finds it boring. But the whole thing needs more research.
‘As for Trinidad and Tobago or any other country going it alone, that is not worth considering. Trinidad would not be able to sustain any meaningful challenge. They don’t have enough quality in depth to compete seriously.
‘Even the whole of the cricket playing West Indies only totals seven million people. Trinidad has only 1.3m.
‘Even if the ICC ratified it, they would initially be an affiliate country, then an associate before becoming a Test playing country – and that would take at least 15 years.’
Cuffy hopes that the pay dispute between the West Indies players and West Indies Cricket Board can be fully settled this week in arbitration in Barbados.
‘It is an opportunity for them to reorganise the whole structure as well as contracts,’ he said. ‘If that happens then they should take the opportunity to make positive steps in sorting out other issues.
‘The board has shown enormous lack of sensitivity over the years and it’s not just pay that the players are unhappy with. They want to sort out medical issues, training facilities, booking flights, selection processes and many more things.
‘Unfortunately, our administration does not accept its responsibilities to act in a professional manner. They still behave like prima donnas. Until they do, only then can we make progress.’