Published: Mon, October 16, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

ICC gives green light for trialling of four-day Test matches

The ODI league, that's set to kick-off in 2020, will have 13 teams - the 12 Full Members and the victor of the ICC World Cricket League Championship. India have refused to play any bilateral series with Pakistan but the two sides have played each other in ICC tournaments, most prominently in the final of the Champions Trophy earlier in the year.

The Test league will start in 2019 and see nine teams play six series over two years - three home and three away.

International Cricket Council chief executive Dave Richardson said tactics and pitch deterioration will need consideration should five days meld into four.

The introduction of the Test championship and the ODI league is on par with those reinventions.

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. But squabbling over formats, and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged, have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010.

Kane Williamson is the first worldwide captain to come out and throw his weight behind the biggest reform by the global Cricket Council (ICC) in recent times: the Test Championship and ODI League.

Referring to India's objection to playing in Pakistan as well as in the UAE, Younis said,"If India want to play Pakistan, they can even play them in England or in Australia. Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but this is the first time a genuine solution has been agreed on", ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said. "If these two countries play each other it will not only help the Test Championship but also help the relations between the two countries", he told Gulf News.

"This is a significant point in time for ICC members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for global bilateral cricket", he said. FICA's 2016 International Cricket Structure Review, which was shared with the ICC, is based on collective player views, player labour market data and player insights from around the world.

The ICC Board had approved a trial of four-day Tests to run through until the World Cup 2019 and Williamson was neither for nor against this decision of the world governing body. Teams visiting, for example, South Africa, might be more likely to play Zimbabwe in a four-day Test than they would in a five-day Test. "This will bring extra half-an hour on all four days". The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by members. Don't be surprised if by the end of the first cycle of the Test league we've seen fewer draws, more wins, more losses, and - more importantly - in less time.

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