Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

ICC for test championship, 13-team ODI league

A genuine Test match world championship and an ODI league will be introduced to global cricket after both were given in-principle agreement by the ICC Board on the final day of the governing body's meeting in Auckland.

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.

"We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural test match next year", said Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom.

Ireland and Afghanistan were given test status in June when they became the 11th and 12th full members of the ICC.

"It's fantastic news for Irish cricket", Porterfield added.

South Africa and Zimbabwe have been approved to play a four-day test this summer, although there isn't yet widespread approval for the concept from all cricketing nations.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said, "This is a significant point in time for ICC Members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for global bilateral cricket".

"This is a significant point in time for ICC members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for worldwide bilateral cricket". The top-two teams in April 2021 will meet in the final two months later.

Reflecting on the move, 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.

Deutrom said a venue and exact date for the test had yet to be confirmed, but the country has played one-day internationals in both Belfast and Dublin.

However, Irish was concerned that countries trialing four-day Tests on a random basis may lead to confusion and uncertainty around the format.

ICC member nations will be able to schedule four-day tests by bilateral agreement until the next World Cup in 2019, but playing conditions have yet to be finalized.

"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, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams".

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