Cricket’s world body, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to approve plans for the World Test Championship at a meeting in New Zealand this week, reports suggested on Monday.
The Sydney Morning Herald, on Monday, reported that plans for a nine-nation Test championship were under way and the ICC was set to give the concept a green light on Friday at a meeting in Auckland.
According to AFP, the report stated that the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final between the top two teams at Lord's.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the league competition would give Test series a broader international "context", making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests.
"You're also creating structure in such a way that you no longer have games without meaning. They are all part of a league championship," he told the Herald.
A recent innovation designed to reverse the trend is the introduction of day-night Test matches, which moves playing sessions to more spectator-friendly hours.
The idea of four-day Test matches has also been floated, although traditionalists oppose the move.
With an eye on attracting more crowds and increased TV viewership, the ICC had for years been pitching the idea of a Twenty20 version of the game. But since 2010, disagreements over format of the league and other matters saw the delay in the league taking off.
The Herald also reported that the ICC will also look at a major shake-up of one-day international fixtures at the Auckland meeting.
It said a 13-nation ODI league was being considered, which would operate on a three-year cycle with results affecting World Cup qualification.
Under the plans, the number of ODIs in a series would be capped at three, ending the lengthy five-match series that are currently part of the international fixture list.
IMAGE: India captain Virat Kohli with the ICC Test mace (Image used for representational purposes)