South Africa's proposed four-day Test against Zimbabwe receives ICC green signal

Ireland cricket team is all set to make its Test debut in April 2018

Ireland cricket team is all set to make its Test debut in April 2018

Nine of the 12 test-approved countries - Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland will initially be excluded - will play three home and three away series over the two years that count towards the championship.

James Sutherland believes that the World Test Championship will not undermine marquee series like the Ashes. ICC CEO, David Richardson also stated, "Our priority was to develop an global cricket structure that gave context and meaning across worldwide cricket and particularly in the Test arena". The teams will be required to play at least two Tests while it can be expanded to five Tests in a series as well.

The World Cricket League Championship is already underway, with all participants having played more than 10 matches each.

However, it'll be changed to a three-year cycle with teams battling it out in eight series - four at home and four away series - with a maximum of three ODIs in one series.

The ICC Board also approved a trial of four-day Tests matches to run through until the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Richardson confirmed: "Starting in 2020 and in that two-year period leading up to the Cricket World Cup in 2023, those 13 teams will play eight series".

The top two teams will contest a play-off final to determine the Test champions in England in June 2021.

The qualifiers will be a 10-team event with the top two sides getting entry into the tournament proper to be held in the United Kingdom in 2019.

A set of playing conditions for four-day Tests is set to be drawn up by ICC management in coming weeks. The Test, though, has to go ahead as a trial, David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said.

"Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams", Richardson concludes.

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