The International Cricket Council has had a busy week, what with sorting out weighty matters such as adjusting the governance and financial models of the game.

So here's another thorny issue for them: what to do about the proliferation of domestic T20 leagues.

There is a commitment to try and bring greater context to test and ODI cricket. They come in the form of a 12-team test league to be played over two years; a 13-team ODI league to run over three. Those were approved at ICC meetings in February.

However standing in the way is a raft of T20 leagues, which players want to take advantage of as revenue-gatherers. Add in issues surrounding overlapping tours, series being planned out of season and there are more headaches in store for the game's rulers.


Try this for size, a rundown of the more significant domestic T20 leagues around the globe: February-March, Pakistan Super League; April-May, Indian Premier League; July-September, England's NatWest Blast; August-September, Caribbean Premier League; November-December, South Africa's inaugural league and the Bangladesh Premier League; and finally December-January, the Big Bash League in Australia.

The fixture schedule is clogged up. How to ease the congestion: the ICC's general manager cricket Geoff Allardice has come up with three proposals: fewer test matches; dedicate more time to international cricket; or less test and ODI series.

There are disagreements among boards about how to address the problem. The new South African competition has certain noses out of joint. South Africa, quite reasonably, can point to the other existing leagues and say 'why shouldn't we have our own T20 league'.

Six countries have said that they cannot play international cricket during the eight weeks of the IPL. The Pakistan league is planned for eight weeks; the South African version for six. And so the international opportunities compress.

New Zealand's name is not in that list. It does have a domestic T20, the Super Smash which this year ran from December 4 to January 7.

It is a relatively small beer event compared to some others around the game, but it was viewed as more successful than the previous season. Are there ambitions to enhance it's standing? Yes, but the question is how to, given New Zealand's economy relative to, say, those of India and Australia.

On ESPCcricinfo, a poll was run asking how many people were in favour of reducing the amount of international cricket to more easily accomodate the various T20 leagues. 72 percent said no.

One thought is that the days of five-match test series (not a concern for New Zealand who haven't played one of those since the Caribbean in 1972) or even four-match ones might have to be done away with.

Always exclude the Ashes from that. History does count in some respects. The despised (in New Zealand anyway) two-test series might get fresh life.

The ICC can expect a fight on this, considering essentially it's a domestic issue for those T20 host countries.

For the governing body, the battles must seem to run and run.