Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards will present plans to rebrand the sport’s one-day international (ODI) format as ‘World Cup Cricket’ at an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Melbourne on Monday.
Australia and New Zealand are currently hosting the World Cup – cricket’s premier stand-alone national team competition played in the 50-over discipline – and Edwards wants to bring all ODIs under the World Cup banner to set the format apart from Test and Twenty20 matches.
Edwards, who is a member of the ICC executive committee, is the driving force behind the proposals that would award nations points based on their results in the four years between World Cups in order to secure qualification for the tournament proper.
The allocation of ODIs in cricket’s busy global calendar has been criticised for spawning matches and series with little meaning, with teams fielding weakened sides. ODIs retain their commercial popularity in the important Indian and Australian markets but Edwards’ plans would explore ways of increasing the stakes in games, including a potentially lucrative end-of-year series between the top two ranked teams in the world.
Edwards has eight months left in his term of office with Cricket Australia and the ICC’s executive committee and is keen to press ahead with the reforms, with his colleagues meeting in Melbourne next week to discuss cricket’s global strategy for the next four-year cycle.
"I'd like to see a lot more context for 50-over cricket," Edwards told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. "I would call it World Cup Cricket. We've got a meeting on Monday in Melbourne with the ICC and one of the subjects is this. From my point of view this is one of the big strategy items, which is also focused on making the world of cricket better.
"I would have a system where maybe after one year the top two teams play off in a best-of-three (series) or something, which would take a week. That counts for one year and if you could work the points out so that even teams like Ireland have a chance that would be quite interesting. There (would be) a decent prize at the end of it, a decent lump of money.
"In the second year (after a World Cup in the current cycle) you've got the Champions Trophy, which I would like to call the World Cup qualifying tournament. In the third year you'd be finishing off the rankings for the World Cup and then in the last year you've got the World Cup. Something like that where each year there is a some pinnacle at the end that everyone is playing to achieve, and then the World Cup is the big one. It will make a lot more sense to people I think."