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ICC's move to help Associate members earn Test status

Posted on Apr 10 2014 | IANS

Dubai, April 10 : The International Cricket Council (ICC) Thursday paved way for Associate members to gain Test status with the introduction of the Test Challenge that will take place every four years between the lowest ranked Test team and the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

The ICC Board after its two-day meeting that ended here Thursday decided to have the Test challenge that would allow Associate members to play Test cricket.

The board proposed that the 10th ranked side on the ICC Test Team Rankings Dec 31, 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 in the 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.

"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," said David Richardson, ICC chief executive.

The ICC Board members agreed on a long-term work plan to support the implementation of the resolutions passed at its last meeting in Singapore, Feb 8. The 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.

The board feels that cornerstones of the new financial model is an extended Future Tours Programme (FTP) which will now run until 2023.

"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," said Richardson.

The boarad also thanked Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the successful staging of the World Twenty20 .

"The ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 was an extremely successful event which was thoroughly enjoyed by the players, officials, spectators and media. A lot of credit must be given to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the ICC team for putting up a memorable show," said ICC President Alan Isaac.

The board agreed that the same format be retained for the World Twenty20 event in 2016, which will be staged in India.

The board also ratified the appointment of Australia coach Darren Lehmann and the West Indies coach Ottis Gibson as the representatives of national coaches on the ICC Cricket Committee following the completion of former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten's term.

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