MCC has expressed its disappointment that a World Test Championship has been deferred by the ICC until at least 2017.
John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “It is disappointing to learn that the ICC has postponed the inaugural World Test Championship from 2013 until 2017.
"MCC has been very consistent in its support for Test cricket and the need for governing bodies to give the five-day game a bit of a boost.
"Today’s announcement is a setback for Test cricket, at a time when we need to work to find the optimum balance between all formats of the game.”
MCC would also like to clarify that the proposed ICC World Test Championship Final in 2013 did not form part of the Platinum Package awarded to MCC by ECB in September, although the Club had first option to stage the final.
MCC will now wait to hear from the ICC and ECB regarding alternative arrangements.
The Club’s priority now, given there will be a gap in the calendar in 2013, will be to secure the best possible Major Matches it can for Lord’s to supplement the Australia Test and the New Zealand ODI being played that year.
MCC World Cricket Committee
The MCC World Cricket Committee has campaigned since July 2009 for the introduction of a World Test Championship, to provide greater context for the longest form of the game. The Club stands by its statement, issued in July 2009 that:
“Except for certain icon series, such as the Ashes, Test cricket throughout the world, and in particular the lower-ranked nations, is in very real danger of dying.
"A World Test Championship would reinvigorate players, spectators and broadcasters for what is the pinnacle of the game.
"Every series would have a meaning and every Test match would have a context.”
The MCC World Cricket Committee went on to say, following its December 2010 meeting in Perth, that:
“The Committee hopes that the WTC will see an increased effort from worldwide governing bodies to market the Test game better and to produce pitches that offer a fair balance between bat and ball.
"The Committee is optimistic that through its introduction, the WTC will give Test cricket the spotlight it deserves and the re-invigoration it requires to ensure the supreme format of the game can thrive worldwide.”
The next meeting of the MCC World Cricket Committee, under its new Chairman, Mike Brearley, will take place in Cape Town in early January.