New Delhi: International cricket will see a new dawn as ICC (International Cricket Council) chief executive Dave Richardson has confirmed the proposed Test championship as of 2019 and a One-Day International league as of 2020.
The first two-year Test championship will be played among the game’s top-nine teams and it will start after the 2019 World Cup in England. The top two teams by April 2021 will move to a playoff in a championship final in England in June of that year.
The Test series league will see nine teams play six series over two years, three home and three away, with each having a minimum of two Tests and a maximum of five.
Meanwhile, the ODI league will feature the game’s top 13 limited-overs nations and will run for two years, before changing to a three-year league after the World Cup in 2023.
Also, the ODI league will be a direct qualification pathway towards the World Cup and will be contested by the 12 full members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship.
In the first edition of the league, each side will play four home and four away series each comprising of three ODIs moving to all teams playing each other from the second cycle onwards.
“I would like to congratulate our Members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first. Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but this is the first time a genuine solution has been agreed on,” ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said in a statement after the governing body’s meeting.
“This means fans around the world can enjoy international cricket knowing every game counts and in the case of the ODI league, it counts towards qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup.”
ICC also announced that four-day test cricket will be trialled, with South Africa and Zimbabwe confirmed to play this summer.
Richardson said: “Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format.
“The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by Members. Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents.”
Meanwhile, during its Board Meeting, ICC confirmed Namibia as the host of the World Cricket League Division 2 in February 2018 whilst the Zimbabwe have been approved as the host of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, to be held in March 2018.
The ICC also confirmed Netherlands as the host of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2018.