New Zealand may get relegated to Division Two of Test playing nations

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Wellington, Sep 21 (ANI): New Zealand might be relegated to Division Two of Test playing nations, according to a Sunday Star-Times report, which referred to a draft plan for cricket's Future Tours Programme (FTP).

In the worst-case scenario for New Zealand, it could be that the top four nations Australia, England, India and South Africa making the top tier, with New Zealand left to play Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies at the bottom half of the table.

Tim May, the chief executive of cricket's international players' association (FICA), told the Star-Times: "There is a model up for discussion which features two divisions and promotion-relegation. Whether it has the backing of anyone, I'm not sure."

Speaking from his home in Texas, May says cricket's planned schedule for the eight years from 2012 to 2020 is so jam-packed that something has to give.

May said it was still not good news for cricket's lesser powers. The draft plan most likely to glean favour features the bigger nations playing each other more often than they play the less powerful countries.

All nations would play the same number of series, it's just that the strongest teams would play four and five-test series against each other and only two-test series against teams such as New Zealand, Stuff.co.nz reports.

Even that model would severely hit New Zealand Cricket in the coffers as its series against India, Australia and England generate the most revenue.

May said cricket had to avoid a situation where the "rich get richer and the poor get poorer" and the FTP will be the main discussion topic when players' association representatives meet in South Africa during the upcoming Champions Trophy tournament.

The potential changes to test cricket reflect the fact the FTP is over-flowing as a result of increased Twenty20 tournaments. (ANI)

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