Test sides gear for a grand fi­nal

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

TEST cricket will get a grand fi­nal and mean­ing­less one- day games will be axed af­ter the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil agreed to make ev­ery match worth win­ning.

The first World Test League Cham­pi­onship Fi­nal will be held in 2021 af­ter nine Test na­tions play six series each over two years – three home and three away – most likely be­gin­ning with the 2019 Ashes.

Series can be two to five games and points will be al­lo­cated by a sys­tem yet to be de­cided. Then ev­ery two years the top two na­tions will face­off in a clash to de­cide Test cricket’s best team, with a mas­sive cash prize on of­fer.

The changes could cost two Tests per na­tion per calendar year, but Cricket Aus­tralia boss James Suther­land said the in­creased con­text around ev­ery in­di­vid­ual match would negate any loss of games.

“I think the pres­tige and en­gage­ment with Test cricket will be higher if we make it more pre­cious,” he said.

“This is the first time there has been broad struc­ture and con­text for in­ter­na­tional cricket. In their own way, series be­tween coun­tries have their own con­text.

“But the broader con­text of a league and cham­pi­onship pro­vides a really strong nar­ra­tive for fans.”

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