Time to separate champs from the chumps
Wisden CricInfo staff
May 27, 2004
Shane Warne has declared his support for a two-division international system in which the stronger Test nations would no longer be required to play the weaker sides.
Under Warne's proposed system, fledgling Test nations such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would have to prove their mettle before winning promotion to the upper league and the right to play elite countries like Australia.
"I agree with Ricky Ponting's suggestion of a two-tier system with maybe a Super Six or Super Seven in the top division of Test cricket," Warne wrote in his column in London's The Times newspaper.
"Countries below would have to put in the hard yards to earn the right to compete against the best."
Ponting said this week that players want to be "challenged and tested", and that the presence of substandard sides risked cheapening international cricket.
Warne called on the ICC to intervene in Zimbabwe and ensure that legitimate selection procedures were being adhered to. "What has happened is a real shame," said Warne, "and I hope the people at the top can rectify the situation so that Zimbabwean cricket has the right selection process in place again, and soon."
Warne also offered some selection advice for the Poms, who are currently involved in a closely-matched three-Test series against New Zealand. He said Marcus Trescothick should make way for the returning Michael Vaughan and urged Nasser Hussain, on the back of his matchwinning hundred at Lord's this week, to forget about retiring. "As much as people might want him to go," said Warne, "this is not the right time."
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