Cricket Australia had decided to feature fewer Tests and One-Day Internationals, but more T20 matches in its future cricketing calendar after the radical overhaul made by the ICC a day ago in the Auckland meet which also included the long-awaited introduction of a world Test championship.
The Test Championship is set to begin after the 2019 World Cup and will see top nine Test teams playing six series – three at home and three away.
Meanwhile, after the conclusion of six series for each side, the top two teams by April 2021 will lock horns in the championship final in England in June of that year. The plans which faced a good amount of delay were signed off with an aim to give Test and ODI format greater importance amid concerns about waning interest and crowd attendances.
Ashes To include Points Systems
The 2019 Ashes series between Australia and England is expected to become the first series to get played under the new points rule underlining the nine-team world Test championship.
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said that details were yet to get finalised and the championship would most likely begin after the 2019 World Cup and culminate with a final in mid-2021.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland stated the revamp would see Australia play slightly fewer Tests and open up the schedule for more T20s to be played.
“I do believe that the prestige and the level of engagement with Test cricket will be higher if we make it more precious,” Sutherland told reporters.
“Making it more precious means we play it in certain windows, it has structure, there is context as part of the Test championship … it’s not meaningless and people are wondering why it’s being played.
“All of those things I think come together to be something that’s very, very exciting for international cricket.”
Sutherland also confirmed the Ashes will continue to hold its significance despite the introduction of Test championship.
“Ashes will continue to be the biggest Test event that we play in,” he said. These matches will have even greater meaning than they do currently if that’s possible.”
The ICC will also allow countries to experiment with four-day Test matches, although they will not carry championship points. Sutherland said Australia was unlikely to play any such contests in the near-future with tough series against England, South Africa, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka scheduled across the next two years.