After a lot of deliberations, the International Cricket Council has finally approved the Test Championship and ODI League after the Governing Body meeting in Auckland today. In the Test Championship, the top nine teams will participate whereas 13 teams will take part in the ODI league.
As per the proposed Test Championship, which will be put in place after the 2019 World Cup, the top nine teams will play a total of six series each - three at home and three away. The teams will have to play a minimum of two Tests in a series, while they can expand it to five Tests as well. But in what has come as a major shock for the minnow nations, the Championship won't include Zimbabwe, and two latest entrants in the block - Afghanistan and Ireland.
The ODI league will have 13 teams in total which comprises the 12 Full Members and the winner of the ICC World Cricket League Championship. The ODI league, which will be put in place in 2020, will be organised in a two-year cycle ahead of the 2023 World Cup and will be changed to a three-year cycle after that with teams battling it out in eight series - four at home and four away series - with a maximum of three ODIs in one series.
"This is a significant point in time for ICC Members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for international bilateral cricket," Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said about the decision.
"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."
Former BCCI president and the current ICC chairman, Shashank Manohar welcomed the new shake-up in the world of cricket and stated that the member countries have accepted the need for greater context for international cricket, responding to the demands of broadcasters, sponsors and fans.
"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 for the ICC Cricket World Cup."