Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Test championship & ODI league confirmed by International Cricket Council

Test championship & ODI league confirmed by International Cricket Council

The schedules of the leagues, due to start in 2019 and 2020 respectively, will now be finalised.

Ireland, the latest entrants in the Test club along with Afghanistan, could be set to play their first official Test against Pakistan in May next year.

The Test championship will consist of nine countries and will begin after the 2019 World Cup, followed by the two-top teams playing each other in a championship final in 2021.

The series can be a minimum of two matches and maximum of five, with all tests to be five days in length.

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.

"This means fans around the world can enjoy worldwide cricket knowing every game counts and in the case of the ODI league, it counts towards qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup".

"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.

Four-day Tests have also been allowed, although they will not count towards the championship as Richardson said such games are still at an experimental stage.

While Ireland is still to have their Test debut and Pakistan has an upper hand of more than half a century in experience, the single game could prove a challenging one for Pakistan.

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

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

"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", Richardson said.

A recent innovation created to reverse the trend is the introduction of day-night Test matches, which moves playing sessions to more spectator-friendly hours after dark. 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.

A 13-team ODI league, introduced from 2021, will now be used to qualify for the World Cup. The process for the appointment of the ICC female independent director was confirmed and the recruitment will get underway in the coming week.

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