ICC to approve Test championship

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Wellington

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to approve plans for its long-awaited World Test Championship at a meeting in New Zealand this week, it was reported Monday.
The sport’s governing body has argued for years that a Test championship is needed to boost the five-day format’s popularity as crowds and television viewers flock to the big-hitting Twenty20 version of the game.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that plans for a nine-nation Test championship were now well advanced and the ICC was set to give the concept a green light on Friday at a meeting in Auckland.
It said the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final between the top two teams at Lord’s.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the league competition would give Test series a broader international “context”, making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests.
“You’re also creating structure in such a way that you no longer have games without meaning. They are all part of a league championship,” he told the Herald.
A recent innovation designed to reverse the trend is the introduction of day-night Test matches, which moves playing sessions to more spectator-friendly hours.
The idea of four-day Test matches has also been floated, although traditionalists oppose the move.
The Herald reported that the ICC will also look at a major shake-up of one-day international fixtures at the Auckland meeting.—APP