League system for Test Matches could be in place by 2019, says ICC CEO Dave Richardson
Dave Richardson, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Cricket Council has hinted that a league system for Test Cricket will be in place by the end of 2019. Speaking after the formal launch of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Richardson also said that this system will provide more meaning to the bilateral Test Series.
"Hopefully, we can make a decision by the end of the year over what structure to implement," said Richardson.
Currently, the only way Test teams are regulated is by the virtue of the Test Rankings. The major fallacy of the Test Rankings is the fact that this is based only on series and these series are of varying durations and often does not carry any significance.
"If you want to create a real champion Test team, you need a competition that provides the same number of opportunities. "That means the same number of fixtures, home and away so that at the end of a league period you can crown a champion team ," Richardson told BBC Sport.
Further elaborating on the proposal, Richardson said, "Test cricket over five days, historically being played in series, lends itself to a league running over at least two years as opposed to a one-off competition where everyone comes to one country".
"It will be quite difficult. Everyone wants to play Test cricket so we need to find a structure that caters to that. That could mean two groups or two divisions."
He also informed that the ICC is looking to add the World T20 to the 2018 calendar.
"Following the success of this year's tournament and the opportunity the World T20 provides to associate member countries, it's something we're keen to look at", the former South African wicket-keeper informed.
The schedule for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 has been announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Eight teams will be playing 15 matches over 18 days at three different venues in England & Wales.
As the groups were announced, India and Pakistan both ended up in the same group. In Group B, India and Pakistan are joined by Sri Lanka and South Africa. In Group A, Australia, England, New Zealand, and Bangladesh are the teams.