ICC gives a nod to Test Championship and ODI League

ICC gives a nod to Test Championship and ODI League

While Test Championship will commence after 2019 Cricket World Cup, ODI league will be put in place from 2020.

David Richardson ICC
ICC (International Cricket Council) Chief Executive David Richardson speaks during a press conference. (Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved the Test Championship and One-Day International League on Friday (October 13). The Chief Executive of ICC, David Richardson, confirmed the news in Auckland after the meeting of governing body. The leagues will now bring more context to the bilateral series especially in the 50-over format in which the team will battle for a place in World Cup.

The Test championship will include top nine teams playing six series, three at home and three away, will commence after the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. It is mandatory that the teams will play a series a series at least two Tests which could be expanded up to five. However, the lower ranked teams like Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan won’t be part of the championship in whites. But they will play the 50-over format with the giants of the cricketing world.

The ODI league, that’s set to be put in place in 2020, will have 13 teams – the 12 Full Members and the winner of the ICC World Cricket League Championship. The teams will battle it out to earn direct qualification for the World Cup. The league will first have a two-year cycle ahead of the 2023 World Cup. However, it’ll be changed to a three-year cycle with teams playing eight series – four at home and four away – with a maximum of three ODIs in one series.

First time a genuine solution has been found

The change in the cricketing structure has been agreed by all the nations in the meeting and Richardson was extremely pleased to announce it. “This is a significant point in time for ICC Members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for international bilateral cricket. 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 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,” he said.

The ICC Chairman, Shashank Manohar, believed that the new leagues will bring more context to the bilateral series now. “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,” he continued after taking over from his ally.

Will Pakistan play against India in the league?

According to Cricbuzz, during the meeting, Pakistan were gripe on not playing India within the new Test Championship and ODI League. But Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreed to the changes when ICC assured them that they will work out how both teams can play against each other either inside or outside of the leagues.