KARACHI - The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board approved the introduction of an ICC Test Challenge which will take place every four years between the lowest ranked Test team and the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup.
The proposal is that the 10th ranked side on the ICC Test Team Rankings on December 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, will play two five-day matches at home and two five-day matches away against the winner of the upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup, with the inaugural Challenge scheduled to take place during 2018," ICC announced in a statement at the conclusion of two-day meeting at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai on Thursday.
In the next eight years, two ICC Intercontinental Cup tournaments are planned with the first to run from 2015 to 2017 and the second to be held between 2019 and 2021. The second ICC Test Challenge is scheduled for 2022.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "The ICC Test Challenge now opens the door for Associate Members to play Test cricket and in doing so gives even greater context to the ICC Intercontinental Cup which will now be a pathway to Test cricket." Further to the resolutions passed at the ICC Board meeting in Singapore February 8, 2014, the ICC Board members agreed a long-term work plan to support the implementation of those resolutions which do not require constitutional change.
At the same time the ICC Board authorised the drawing up of the necessary constitutional amendments which will be placed before the Full Council at the ICC Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne at the end of June.
One of the cornerstones of the new financial model is an extended Future Tours Programme (FTP) which will now run until 2023. "The FTP is a very important piece of work as it gives Members long-term certainty in relation to both their playing schedule and financial planning. Significant progress has been made but there is still work to be done to develop a balanced calendar of tours and finalise these agreements," Richardson, said.
The ICC Board thanked the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the successful staging of the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 and praised the Bangladesh government, security agencies and the general public for their contributions and support. The ICC Board also congratulated Sri Lanka for winning the men's title and Australia's women for completing a hat-trick of titles.
Following the success of the ICC World T20 Bangladesh 2014, the ICC Board agreed that the same format be retained for the ICC World Twenty20 events in 2016, which will be staged in India.
For the 2016 event, the top eight Full Members on the ICC T20I Team Rankings as on April 30, 2014 will automatically qualify for the second round, while the ninth and 10th ranked Full Members will get automatic places in the first round. The six qualifiers will progress from the 14-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, which will be staged in Ireland and Scotland from 9 July to 2 August 2015 during which a total of 51 matches will be played.
The Board ratified the appointment of Australia coach Darren Lehmann and the West Indies coach Ottis Gibson as the representatives of national coaches on the ICC Cricket Committee following the completion of former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten's term.
The ICC Board also considered a general update on anti-corruption and integrity while the IDI Board received a report from the Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee which included updates on the commercial rights post-2015, Host and Members' Participation Agreements for the next commercial rights cycle, online piracy, event forecasts and audited financial statements for 2013.