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ICC approves plans for Test championship and ODI league
14 October 2017, 12:44 | Ross Houston
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Richardson said countries were welcome to experiment with four-day test matches but they would not count towards the championship.
A test championship has always been mooted as a means to make the longest form of the game more relevant for fans who have increasingly turned towards limited-overs matches. The teams will be required to play at least two Tests while it can be expanded to five Tests in a series as well.
Ireland, the UAE and Scotland were also vying to have the matches played in their countries but Zimbabwe was given the nod after ICC chairman Shashank Manohar visited the country in August.
The decision to play Zimbabwe on Boxing Day was taken by Cricket South Africa (CSA) after the Indian tour, which was due to take place over that period, got pushed back because of scheduling reasons.
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The ODI league, that's set to be put in place in 2020, will have 13 teams - the 12 Full Members and the victor of the ICC World Cricket League Championship.
Richardson added that a 13-team ODI league would be introduced from 2021 and determine which teams qualify for the World Cup in India two years later. However, it'll be changed to a three-year cycle with teams battling it out in eight series - four at home and four away series - with a maximum of three ODIs in one series.
Today, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that Zimbabwe will host the event. According to the ICC statement: "Members will be able to schedule four-day games by bilateral agreement, and a set of standardised playing conditions will now be finalised".
ICC chief executive David Richardson said: 'Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams'.
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