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ICC ODI World Cup Super League: Former England captain slams league for being ‘incredibly complex’ – cricket


Just a day after its announcement, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) newest baby, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, has come in for some sharp criticism. Former England captain Michael Atherton, known for his erudite analysis of the game, has slammed the league for being “incredibly complex”.

The ICC on Monday announced the inaugural Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League tournament with the aim to bring context to ODI cricket. The Super League will see a total of 156 games which will begin with England’s three-match ODI series against Ireland set to start from July 30.


It will determine qualification for the men’s World Cup in 2023 with the top seven teams from the league getting a direct berth in the tournament to be played in India.

“There is always logic in everything that happens, but what tends to happen is that it’s incredibly complex because what you’re trying to do is fit two systems together,” Atherton said on Sky Sports Cricket.

“You’ve got the ICC global events – World Cup, World T20, and what was the Champions Trophy – and you’re trying to marry that with the usual bilateral series in what’s called the Future Tours Programme where every team plays against each other.

“Trying to mix those two together is incredibly difficult, and you end up with this.”

Atherton went on to say that complex systems make it difficult for the fans to understand and that takes away from the interest.

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“Try explaining this to the man on the street, try explaining the World Test Championship to the man on the street, which we find it hard enough to understand and we work in the damn game, and then try explaining that to the man on the street,” he said.

“What you’ve really got to try and get is something that’s less complex and a bit more straightforward in order for people to understand.” Former England captain Andrew Strauss, who sits on the ICC’s cricket committee, however, said it is impossible to get a more straight forward system and the governing body is criticised no matter what it does.

“It makes complete sense to try and find something more straightforward but it’s not possible,” he said.

“We all talk about meaningless bilateral cricket that doesn’t have any context, and then the ICC try and put together the World Test Championship and everyone goes ‘the points system is too complicated’ and then they try the Super League and they say ‘Why are they doing that?’ “They’re damned if they do, they’re damned if they don’t.”


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