ICC approves Test Championship, ODI League

South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis could be set to play in a four-day Test on Boxing Day

South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis could be set to play in a four-day Test on Boxing Day

The test championship is planned to involve nine countries and be run over a two-year cycle, while a 13-nation ODI league would operate between World Cups and also be used to determine which teams qualify for the showpiece 50-overs tournament every four years.

It will culminate with a final in 2021, with previous reports hinting that match could take place at Lord's, while the one-day global league will get underway in 2021 and determine qualification for the 2023 World Cup. Each competing team will play in eight series over that time, each one being played over three matches.

Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, said that member countries had moved with the times by accepting the need for greater context for global cricket, responding to the demands of broadcasters, sponsors and fans.

Cricket Ireland has five provincial unions - the newest, for the western province of Connacht, was founded in 2010, the first founded in more than 60 years, with nine teams involved.

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Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom recently admitted the Test newcomers would be open to the concept, with Ireland having excelled in four-day games in the rung below Test cricket, the ICC's Intercontinental Cup.

The ICC has also given the go-ahead for a trial of four-day Test matches.

Ireland will make their test cricket debut on home soil against Pakistan in May 2018.

David Richardson said, "Our priority was to develop an worldwide cricket structure that gave context and meaning across global cricket and particularly in the Test arena". 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 chose to jump in and play Pakistan as their first Test opponents.

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"However throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket.

The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by Members". 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 means we can now go and finalise a playing schedule.as well as the points system, hosting arrangements and competition terms". But squabbling over formats, and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged, have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010.

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