Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

ICC announces schedule for Test Championship and ODI league

The Test championship is a brand new offering by the ICC to the cricketing system.

The programme culminates with the ICC Test Championship final in England in June 2021. Australia is slated to travel to England in 2019 while the return series will be played in Australia in 2021-22.

In addition to 1987, New Zealand has played tests at the MCG in 1973 and 1980 for a loss and draw respectively, and 26 one-day internationals, including their defeat to Australia in the 2015 World Cup final. The league will end on 31 March 2022, with the seven highest-ranked teams apart from India - who make the grade automatically as hosts - qualifying for the 2023 World Cup.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will lead his side in a test against Australia for the first time at the MCG in December next year. So, top-nine teams as per ICC Test rankings will participate in the much-debated inaugural edition if the World Test Championship which will start from July 15, 2019, and continue until April 30, 2021.

"It's hard to go past the three-match test series in Australia next year as a highlight".

The structure of the men's FTP (2018-23) includes ICC Cricket World Cup - 2019 and 2023, ICC World T20 - 2020 and 2021, World Test Championship, Cycle 1 - 2019-2021 (final 2021), Cycle 2 - 2021-2023 (final 2023).

New Zealand's next worldwide series is against Pakistan including three tests in the United Arab Emirates, starting in October, while Sri Lanka (two tests, three ODIs, one T20), India (five ODIs, three T20s) and Bangladesh (three tests, three ODIs) are touring this summer.

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Melbourne aside, venues are yet to be confirmed for the Australian tour but, given it's a three-test series the Black Caps will likely grace the Sydney Cricket Ground for the traditional New Year test.

Before the historic three-Test, three ODI tour of Australia, the Black Caps will host England for two Tests and five T20s in October and November next year.

The sides will play six series in the two-year cycle on a home and away basis against opponents they have mutually selected.

The 13-team ODI league will comprise of 12 Test playing nations and the victor of World Cricket League Championship - Netherlands.

Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but with the release of this FTP, our members have found a genuine solution that gives fans around the world the chance to engage regularly, ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson stated.

The ODI League will be suspended a year before the World Cup which means that a series can have more than three ODIs during this period.

The bottom five, meanwhile, will get another opportunity through the World Cup Qualifier. They will host as many as 102 games and barring Pakistan and Ireland, all Test playing nations will be touring the cricket insane country.

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