Auckland: With an aim to bring context and meaning to bilateral cricket, a nine-team Test cricket league and a 13-team One-Day International league will start in 2019 and 2020, respectively, it was announced on Friday.
The Test series league will see nine teams play six series over two years — three home and three away, the International Cricket Council (ICC) declared after the ICC Board meeting here.
Each team will be having a minimum of two Tests and a maximum of five and all the five-day matches will culminate in a World Test League Championship Final, according to the statement. "The ODI league will be a direct qualification pathway towards the ICC Cricket World Cup and will be contested by the 12 Full Members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship," ICC said in a statement.
In the first edition of the league, each side will play four home and four away series each comprising of three ODIs moving to all teams playing each other from the second cycle onwards. ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar said that the leagues are a genuine solution to bring context to bilateral cricket.
"I would like to congratulate our Members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first," Maohar said.
Meanwhile, the ICC announced that the World Cup Qualifier will be held in Zimbabwe in March 2018.