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NZ Cricket supports Test structure change

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/07/2016

New Zealand Cricket has expressed support for a proposed two-tier Test system.

Chief executive David White says the NZC board agrees context needs to be added to the sport's longest form, while he also believes trimming Tests from five to four days has merit.

However, in an interview with website espncricinfo.com, White said it was important that players pushed into the second division of a tiered system are financially supported.

"There's already a lot of interest in New Zealand in Test cricket but if we had a competition with promotion and relegation and a winner at the end, it would really increase interest, no doubt about that," White said.

"Everyone agrees we need context, we need something that's aspirational."

International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson put forward a proposal in June whereby the number of countries with Test status would be increased to 12.

They would be separated into a top seven and bottom five, based on performance.

White, a full member representative on the ICC cricket committee, said he would support the change, even if fifth-ranked New Zealand were demoted to the second division.

"It will make people look at their high-performance programmes and their systems, so the product of Test cricket will improve as well," he said.

Boards from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, ranked seventh and ninth in the world respectively, have both voiced opposition to the plan.

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