ICC approves Test Championship, ODI league


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The cricketing structure is set to change with the International Cricket Council approving Test Championship and One-Day International League, David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, confirmed in Auckland on Friday (October 13) after the governing body's meeting.

In the Test Championship, the top nine teams will play six series - three at home and three away - and it'll be put in place after the 2019 World Cup. The teams will be required to play at least two Tests while it can be expanded to five Tests in a series as well.

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 first cycle will see teams play four series at home and four away - with a maximum of three ODIs in one series. In the next cycle, all the teams involved in the ODI league will play each other.

"This is a significant point in time for ICC Members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for international bilateral cricket," Richardson said about the decision. 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."

Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, felt the Test Championship and ODI League will now bring more context to every series. "I would like to congratulate our Members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first," he said. "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."

A source also confirmed to Cricbuzz that Pakistan were gripe on not playing India within the new Test Championship and ODI League. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board agreed to the changes after assurances from the ICC that details will be worked out on how India and Pakistan can play against each other either inside or outside of the leagues.

In other decisions taken, Zimbabwe was confirmed as the host for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier and the tournament will be played in March next year. Netherlands will host the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier.

The ICC also confirmed a position for an independent female director and an appointment will be made in a few weeks.