The Championship will involve nine teams who would contest for the top spot playing three home and three away series
International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday (June 20), its Future Tours Programme (FTP) for a five-year period (2018-2023) which includes the World Test Championship and a 13-team ODI league.
Test championship, the premier offering of this new FTP, will involve nine teams who would contest for the top spot playing three home and three away series over two two-year cycles, with the first cycle beginning in 2019. The final of this cycle is most likely to be held at the Lord’s in July 2021.
According to the new FTP, ICC preserved the five-match Ashes Test series under the new Test championship cycle with Australia slated to tour England in 2019 and the return series to be played in 2021-22. The 13-team ODI league will see the inclusion of the winners of the World Cricket League Championship, Netherlands, playing alongside the twelve Test playing nations. The league limits every series to a three-match fixture, beginning in 2020 and will run up to 2022.
Also, not all matches will impact the Test Championship and the ODI league. In the year preceding the 50-over World Cup, the ODI league will be suspended during which teams can play more than three matches in a series, e.g the ongoing five-match ODI series between England and Australia, as a bilateral series. The top eight teams in the league will gain automatic qualification to the main event while the other spots will be decided through the World Cup Qualifiers.
“The agreement of this FTP means we have clarity, certainty and most importantly context around bilateral cricket over the next five years. The World Test Championship will get underway next year with the ODI league kicking off in 2020 as part of the qualification towards the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said.
“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 international cricket that has meaning and the possibility of a global title at the end,” Richardson added.@crictrick.com

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