In the wake of recent dismal performance by oversea teams, including West Indies miserable performance in the first Test at Hobart, I observed a silver lining for associate teams and Test match cricket!!
Why not have associate teams play Test cricket(5-day) among themselves for a trial period of 2 years?!.
My initial thought was to ban West Indies from playing Test cricket, as there are plenty of reason to justify this thought.
However if we have to ban West Indies, than we will reduce Test playing nation to 8, which is not healthy for the game. And lately visiting teams are having a “low phase” in Test cricket.
Apart from West Indies, there are other strong teams like NZ, AUS, SA, ENG who have performed poorly when they play overseas. I believe its lack of focus and preparing your processes, hence it is a “low phase” in their cricketing careers.
All this is not suggesting that West Indies only performs badly overseas with their recent performance. They do the same at home, viz peform poorly against every team that travels to Caribbean.
Hence one feels they should be demoted to lower group and play Test cricket with associate teams.
Nevertheless West Indies will play limited over games (both One Day Int. and Twenty 20) against all teams regularly including 8 Test playing nation.
Test Cricket for associate teams with two tier system.
Fringe teams like Ireland, Scotland, Netherland, Canada, Afghanistan and others who are regularly playing against top International teams should play Test cricket(5 day) among each other.
A 2-year window of Test cricket for these teams should be created. After every 2-year, one team will get promoted to group A, and one will be demoted to group B.
A two tier system
Group A will have top teams like AUS, ENG, SA, IND, NZ, PAK, SL and BANGLADESH playing regular Test cricket against each other. There would only points for wins, and more for away wins. The sum of both away and home wins will decide the standing in the group.
The teams which has failed to win a single Test match gets demoted to Group B.
Group B will have Zimbabwe, West Indies, and associate teams like Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, UAE, Hong Kong, Afghanistan playing regular Test cricket against each other. Here if a team has won > %60.00 of their total Tests, than they get promoted to play in Group A. Include West Indies in this Group.
All this might create anxiety and panic amongst Group A teams, and some would initially create a huge home advantage for themselves by doctoring their pitches.
ICC Panel of pitch uniformity
Here the ICC should enforced a law on pitch uniformity. A panel should be appointed for pitches. One curator from each country should be a member of this panel, and they would decide how they would prepare their pitches, irrespective who is touring their country. They would have a task to overlook Int. games played in their respective country, and each venue curator will be answerable to head curator on pitch preparation. A monthly log report of pitch preparation should be maintained which will be shared by all panel members. So that they can solve all problems related to pitches, weather condition and facilities.