ICC unveils long-awaited Test championship

Ireland were inducted as full time ICC member which granted them Test playing status

Ireland were inducted as full time ICC member which granted them Test playing status

Nine teams will play six series of Test matches over two years - three at home and three away - culminating in a world Test league championship final in 2021.

The test championship is planned to involve nine countries and be run over a two-year cycle, while a 13-nation ODI league would operate between World Cups and also be used to determine which teams qualify for the showpiece 50-overs tournament every four years.

The ICC has given the green light to a Test championship and ODI league as well as allowing countries to experiment with four-day Tests.

Ireland have since established themselves during the course of several World Cups, recording one-day global wins over Pakistan, the West Indies and England. "I would like to congratulate our members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first", he said.

"We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural test match next year", Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said in a statement.

Any changes to Test cricket must be in line with in with the sport's new global structure, the head of the International Cricket Players' Union (FICA) Tony Irish said. In that case, Ireland can out their plan in place, having played a major chunk of cricket in the four-day format.

David Richardson said, "Our priority was to develop an worldwide cricket structure that gave context and meaning across global cricket and particularly in the Test arena". The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier will be held in Zimbabwe in March 2018.

"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 added.

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

"Test matches have witnessed a decline in attendances in recent years, throwing the door open to a number of means to engage fans, including the introduction of day-night Tests". 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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