ICC announces schedule for Test Championship and ODI league

The Championship will involve nine teams who would contest for the top spot playing three home and three away series

The Championship will involve nine teams who would contest for the top spot playing three home and three away series

"From the moment we were granted Full Membership of the ICC, two of the key priorities for Cricket Ireland were to play our first Test match and to negotiate a comprehensive fixture schedule as part of the FTP", said Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland Chief Executive.

Pakistan will play at least 29 Tests, 38 ODIs and 46 T20Is between World Cup 2019 and World Cup 2023, according to the Future Tour Programme (FTP) released by International Cricket Council (ICC). The nine top-ranked sides in the world will compete in the new tournament, with each side playing six series on a home-and-away basis against mutually selected opponents in a two-year cycle.

Meanwhile, the 13 team ODI league will also include the Champions of the World Cricket League, the Netherlands alongside the 12 existing Test teams.

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.

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.

India will follow their Caribbean series by hosting South Africa (3 Tests) and Bangladesh (2 Tests) in Sept-Oct, 2019 with a two-game away series against New Zealand in early 2020 in the next competition as part of the Test championship cycle. Every series in the said ODI league will comprise of just three matches and it will be held from 2020 to 2022.

The ICC bid to provide focus to worldwide competition will include a 13-team men's ODI league that will act as qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

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All sides will play eight series over a two-year cycle on a home-and-away basis against agreed opponents.

The WTC series against New Zealand in 2020 will have Tests but no five-day games are scheduled when India travel to play the Black Caps next year.

"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 with worldwide cricket that has meaning and the possibility of a global title at the end", Richardson said in a statement.

The new one-day global qualification league and world test championship were other features of the FTP document.

Hosts India plus the seven highest-ranked sides in the ODI league as on 31, March 2022 will qualify directly for the 2023 World Cup, while the bottom five sides will get a second chance to qualify through the ICC World Cup Qualifier.

Cricket Ireland also told RTÉ Sport that they waiting for confirmation from the England and Wales Cricket Board regarding an away Test match next year but rate the fixture as "likely".

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