Test championship & ODI league confirmed by International Cricket Council

Test championship & ODI league confirmed by International Cricket Council

The ICC has given the green light to a Test championship and ODI league as well as allowing countries to experiment with four-day Tests. Initially, a two-tier system of cricket league's had been proposed to ease the two sides into the Test cricket, to avoid a Bangladesh like disaster, but now it seems that Ireland has made a decision to jump in and play Pakistan as their first Test opponents.

The ODI league, involving the ICC's 12 full members and the victor of the World Cricket League - 13 teams in total - will begin in 2020 and will become the pathway to qualification for the ICC World Cup. Each competing team will play in eight series over that time, each one being played over three matches.

South Africa will play Zimbabwe in cricket's first four-day test on December 26 and Richardson said that while the concept was still in the trial phase it should help Afghanistan and Ireland, who were granted test status in June, get up to speed faster. "I would like to congratulate our members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first", he said. Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but this is the first time a genuine solution has been agreed on.

The ODI series will become a direct qualification pathway to the World Cup.

"Our priority was to develop an worldwide cricket structure that gave context and meaning across global cricket and particularly in the Test arena".

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ICC chief executive Dave Richardson has announced a new way forward for test and ODI cricket.

The moves are created to add "context" to all test and one-day matches during the cycle of the league, answering concerns that test cricket's popularity has been supported exclusively on existing rivalry between nations.

"Test matches have witnessed a decline in attendances in recent years, throwing the door open to a number of means to engage fans, including the introduction of day-night Tests". They were scheduled to tour India in early 2018 but that bilateral series remains off limits now owing to the Indian Government's stance.

"The ICC Board decision today means we can now go and finalise a playing schedule for the first edition as well as the points system, hosting arrangements and competition terms".

Numerous questions remain about how the new league structures will unfold, particularly around the fraught issue of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan.

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