The Pakistan Cricket Board has joined Sri Lanka Cricket in agreeing in principle to a proposal from the England & Wales Cricket Board to implement a points system for their tours of England later this summer.
The PCB have given their blessing to the same suggestion that was put to SLC earlier this month, ahead of their own tour of England in May and June. The idea comes in the wake of the successful implementation of a similar system for the last three Women’s Ashes contests.
Pakistan are due to play four Tests, five ODIs and a one-off T20I on their two-month tour from July to September, with the suggestion being that four points should be available for each Test victory and two points for the limited-overs contests.
That would tally with the weighting given in last summer’s Women’s Ashes, which Australia won by 10 points to six.
Initially six points had been on offer for the one-off Test match in the Women’s Ashes, but that figure was reduced to four after the 2013-14 series in Australia, in which England retained the Ashes after winning the Perth Test despite losing both of the limited-overs series 2-1.
With a possible 28 points to be made available over the course of the ten fixtures in Pakistan’s tour, but with the Tests due to be played first, a 4-0 clean sweep for either team would be enough to secure 16 points and, with it, the series.
The proposal has met with a mixed response from England’s cricketers, particularly those who might expect to play a part in all three formats.
“Whatever it is, it’s going to make it extremely competitive and it might bring all three formats together a little bit more,” said Joe Root during an Investec golf day last week.
However, his team-mate Ben Stokes was less enamoured, particularly by the suggestion that the idea might eventually be rolled out to the men’s Ashes.
“I think it would be rubbish,” he said. “They’ve changed a lot of things, but Ashes is Ashes, it’s a massive series for England and Australia and I don’t see why it should get changed.
“People who watch the game and follow the game, especially in the Ashes, would get a little bit like ‘why are we doing this?’ and I’d probably be in the same boat.”
An ECB spokesman confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the prospect of a points system was taking shape.
“We have received an agreement in principle from the boards of both Sri Lanka and Pakistan and will release further details of the proposal in due course.” (ESPN Cricinfo)