ICC To Discuss Inaugural Test Championship Culminating In '21 Final At Lord's
The Int'l Cricket Council will reportedly hold "in-depth discussions on a proposed Test Championship" in Auckland on Friday, according to SKY SPORTS. The ICC "could soon give the green light to a new nine-team league," with expectations that it might begin as soon as '19 and be played over a two- or three-year cycle. Among the proposals to be considered "is a prestige final, with Lord's a candidate to host the inaugural championship game" in '21 -- the potential for semifinals will also be "talked about." The ICC "has been keen to breathe new life into five-day cricket" since '10, and similar formats have been proposed before "but never followed to conclusion" (SKY SPORTS, 10/10). In London, Elizabeth Ammon reported under the plan, the top nine Test nations "would play three series at home and three away over the two years of the championship," the first running from autumn '19 through summer '21, with points awarded for each series. At the end of the two-year cycle, the two teams with the most points "would play a one-off final," the first of which will take place at Lord’s in July '21. As well as the introduction of a Test league, the ICC "is also expected to agree to proposals that would bring an end to long, contextless one-day series" with the introduction of a 13-nation league run over a three-year cycle. The England & Wales Cricket Board is fully in favor of the changes, which it believes "will add much-needed context" to Test and one-day int'l series. Each country’s board "can continue arranging Twenty20 series as schedules allow." The proposals "are likely to spell an end to ODI series of anything more than three matches" (LONDON TIMES, 10/9).