The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board approved the introduction of an ICC Test Challenge which will take place every four years between the lowest ranked Test team and the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup. The proposal is that the 10th-ranked side on the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings on 31 December 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, will play two five-day matches at home and two five-day matches away against the winner of the upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup, with the inaugural Challenge scheduled to take place during 2018.
In the next eight years, two ICC Intercontinental Cup tournaments are planned with the first to run from 2015 to 2017 and the second to be held between 2019 and 2021. The second ICC Test Challenge is scheduled for 2022. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said, “The ICC Test Challenge now opens the door for Associate Members to play Test cricket and in doing so gives even greater context to the ICC Intercontinental Cup which will now be a pathway to Test cricket.”
Further to the resolutions passed at the ICC Board meeting in Singapore on 8 February 2014, the ICC Board members agreed a long-term work plan to support the implementation of those resolutions which do not require constitutional change. At the same time the ICC Board authorised the drawing up of the necessary constitutional amendments which will be placed before the Full Council at the ICC Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne at the end of June. One of the cornerstones of the new financial model is an extended Future Tours Programme (FTP) which will now run until 2023.
Richardson said, “The FTP is a very important piece of work as it gives Members long-term certainty in relation to both their playing schedule and financial planning. Significant progress has been made but there is still work to be done to develop a balanced calendar of tours and finalise these agreements.”