ICC approves Test Championship, ODI league

14 October, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Becky Perry
  • India cricketers celebrate the wicket of Angelo Mathews during the second Test against Sri Lanka at Colombo in August. Pic  AFP

The sport's governing body has also approved the trial of four-day Test matches. The approval of both leagues is the conclusion of two years of work from the Members who have explored a whole range of options to bring context to every game.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: 'I would like to congratulate our members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first.

A test championship has always been mooted as a means to make the longest form of the game more relevant for fans who have increasingly turned towards limited-overs matches. They will be joined by the bottom-three ranked ODI nations - Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland - the top four sides from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the top two from the ICC World Cricket League Division 2. Each series will have a minimum of two Test matches and a maximum of five.

The aim of the test championship is to retain the status of the five-day game amid the rise of T-20 cricket.

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The decision to play Zimbabwe on Boxing Day was taken by Cricket South Africa (CSA) after the Indian tour, which was due to take place over that period, got pushed back because of scheduling reasons. It will be contested by the 12 full members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship.

Richardson added that a 13-team ODI league would be introduced from 2021 and determine which teams qualify for the World Cup in India two years later. Earlier, Bangladesh were scheduled to host the qualifiers but because they gained direct entry, finishing in the top eight of the ICC ODI rankings on the cut-off day, September 30, Zimbabwe put themselves up for consideration.

Sutherland told reporters after an ICC meeting, "I can't think of any way this denigrates or undermines the Ashes".

"The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night tests and technology have been trialled".

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