ISLAMABAD: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Friday gave green signal to the nine-team Test and 13-team ODI leagues aimed at bringing context and meaning to bilateral cricket.
The schedules of the leagues, due to start in 2019 and 2020 respectively, will now be finalized, said an ICC press release issued here. 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 and all matches being played over five days culminating in a World Test League Championship Final.
The ODI league will be a direct qualification pathway towards the ICC Cricket 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.
ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar congratulated the members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said the approval of both leagues is the conclusion of two years of work from the Members who have explored a whole range of options to bring context to every game.
The ICC Board approved a trial of four-day Tests matches to run through until the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Members will be able to schedule four-day games by bilateral agreement and a set of standardised playing conditions will now be finalised.
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.
A number of decisions around event hosts were taken by the ICC Board in Auckland. The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier will be held in Zimbabwe in March 2018. Namibia have been confirmed as the host of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in February 2018 whilst the Netherlands have been approved as the host of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2018. The process for the appointment of the ICC female independent director was confirmed and the recruitment will get underway in the coming week. The Board approved a revised draft of Player Eligibility Regulations which will come into effect in due course.