As much as that would help the weaker teams, it just doesn't make for good viewing for the general public and I personally think a tier system would just about sort all that out, competition is best where in it's actually competitive.
No way should an improving Windies be a tier below. Them and Pakistan are around the same level.
But as aforementioned tiers can't work for test cricket. All this talk of tiers & if we actually gauge the pulse of world test cricket now:
- essentially south africa & england are the only two complete test teams.
- Australia are a level behind them because of weak batting, although their fast-bowling fairly even to that of the proteas & 3 lions.
- Pak & Windies are the improving teams.
- India & SRI are in decline because of an ageing team.
- While NZ are essentially suffering from not having taylor & ryder around and the lack of strong back-up (which most teams dont have behind their first XI) don't. Their bowling has been impressive enough secure long standing wins in australia & sri lanka in the last year - so a full strength nz would be fairly close to pakistan and windies as "improving teams".
So if we were to put cricket into tiers right now based on this, you should technically only have s africa, england & australia in tiers 1 - which obviously won't make any sense.
Fans need not forget how hard it is for teams to become good @ test cricket.
Except for sri lanka all the top 8 nations having been playing test cricket for more than 75 years & all of them (except for england & australia) took at least 15+ years to become solid test nations, and also for the citizens of the country even in this modern age of fast sports to still appreciate test cricket & go the ground every year to watch it.
So it not going to be a simple case of you relegating the weaker of the sides to play ireland's etc, since they still are miles ahead of bangladesh/zimbabwe & associates nations when it comes to a first class game/test match.
Really those associates plus bang/zim who i don't think should be playing test cricket, have to earn the right to play test through their performances in odi & t20 cricket. While instead of tiers for tests, i'd say big nations like australia, england, india, south africa should send their "A" teams on 3-day/4-day match tours to zimbabwe, bangladesh, kenya, ireland, in uae to play afghanistan, scotland, holland. In this way we could gauge their readiness for potential test cricket, while they show improvement as a cricket nation in odi/t20 tournaments.
While the ICC should be having a more hands on approach to aiding weak financial boards to improve the standard of first-class cricket in pak, wi, sri, nz - instead of trying foolishly to get america or china to play cricket.