Nine-nation series bid to boost game
THE International Cricket Council unveiled a longawaited, nine-nation Test championship yesterday in a bid to preserve the five-day format’s status following the rapid growth of Twenty20.
The Test league was among a raft of reforms agreed at an ICC board meeting in Auckland, including revamping the oneday international schedule and trialling four-day Tests.
“Our priority was to develop structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena,” ICC chief David Richardson said in a statement.
The Test league will start in 2019 and see nine teams play six series over two years — three home and three away. It will culminate in a final between the two top teams at Lord’s.
The ICC has argued for years that a Test championship is needed to boost the format’s popularity as crowds and TV viewers flock to the big-hitting Twenty20 version of the game.
It first appointed a committee to examine the concept back in 1998.
TOP END TALENT: Luke Zanchetta is down from Darwin to play cricket with Bell Post Hill. Picture: PETER RISTEVSKI