Test league system possible by 2019, says ICC chief
REUTERS - A two-division league system for test cricket could be established in three years in a bid to improve standards in the longest form of the game, International Cricket Council chief executive Dave Richardson said on Wednesday.
Discussions with full member nations about a possible competition for test cricket and its structure have begun and a proposal is expected to on the agenda at the ICC's annual general meeting in June.
"If you want to create a real champion test team, you need a competition that provides the same number of opportunities," Richardson told reporters at the launch of the 2017 Champions Trophy.
"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.
"Realistically, with tours and broadcast agreements in place, we're perhaps looking at 2019 for it to begin."
The league system is the latest plan to increase diminishing attendances at test matches following the introduction of day-night matches last year in Australia.
"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," Richardson added.
"We are looking to introduce a proper league system which will grow interest and make every series more relevant."
(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)