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ICC approves Test and ODI leagues

Bdtodays, Sports: A genuine Test match world championship will be held internationally as the genuine form of cricket alive in the long term with it an ODI league will be introduced to international cricket. The decision was approved by the ICC Board on the final day of the governing body’s meeting in Auckland.

It will be a point system championship where each team play with each other as it will be a full week-by-week Future Tours Programme. It will be a two year long championship game and in the first two-year top-nine teams will get the chance to play the championship and it will be begin after the England world cup cricket in 2019. By April 2021 top two point holding team to play off in a championship final.

Each competing country will play in six series over that time, three at home and three away, with all series being of a minimum two matches’ duration but able to be expanded to as many as five to cater for encounters such as the Ashes.

The first ODI league, featuring the game’s top 13 limited-overs nations, will commence in 2020-21, running for two years leading into the 2023 World Cup, before converting to a three-year league in each cycle beyond that.

The 13th place in the ODI league will be taken by the winner of the ongoing ICC World Cricket League Championship. Each competing team will play in eight series over that time, each one being played over three matches. The days of lengthier ODI series appears to be over.

The 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.Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but this is the first time a genuine solution has been agreed on.”

“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.”

The ICC Board also approved the trial of four-day Tests in bilateral series up until 2019. A set of playing conditions for four-day Tests is set to be drawn up by ICC management in coming weeks.

The ICC chief executive David 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.”

“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,” he added.

“The ICC Board decision today means we can now go and finalise a playing schedule for the first edition as well as the points system, hosting arrangements and competition terms, David Richardson mentioned.

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

Source: ESPNcricinfo

Bdrodays/ M, H/ 13 October, 2017

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