Int'l Cricket Council Replaces Champions Trophy With World Test Championship
Following its annual conference in London, the Int'l Cricket Council announced on Saturday that England and Wales will stage the inaugural World Test Championship in June and July '17, according to the AFP. The WTC will replace the Champions Trophy. India will stage the second edition of the Test Championship in February and March '21 (AFP, 6/30). The PTI reported the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will also host the 2019 World Cup and Cricket Australia "got the right to host the 2020 World Twenty20." The ICC Board supported the strategy of ensuring an optimum balance between the three formats of the game -- especially Test cricket -- and approved the recommendation that the full member-countries should play a minimum of 16 Tests in each four-year cycle. To ensure that all One-Day Int'ls played over the four-year cycle between ICC Cricket World Cups count toward a team's ranking, "the ICC Board agreed to change the ODI rankings period from three years to four years" (PTI, 6/30). The HINDUSTAN TIMES reported the ICC has also confirmed support for 'zing wickets' -- which have flashing LEDs in bails and stumps -- for ODIs and T20Is. Other recommendations included reiterating that umpires will take a call on the ball tampering issue. It "gained prominence during the recent Champions Trophy when umpire Aleem Dar changed the ball during an England-Sri Lanka game" (HINDUSTAN TIMES, 6/30).