The ICC in its two-day board meeting held in Dubai, which ended yesterday, introduced the concept of an ICC Test Challenge, where the winners of the Intercontinental Cup will get a pathway towards playing Test cricket. It also declared that the format for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2016, to be held in India, will follow a similar format to that of the recent World Twenty20.
According to a press release sent from the ICC, the Test Challenge will be played between the 10th-ranked team -- as per the ICC Test team rankings on 31 December 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time -- and the champion of the ICC Intercontinental Cup, a longer version tournament among the non-Test sides.
The next Intercontinental Cup is scheduled to take place in between 2015 to 2017. Therefore, the inaugural Challenge is expected took take place in 2018.
With Bangladesh currently ranked number 10, they have a little more than three years to improve their rankings in order to avoid participating in this contest. It has not yet been confirmed whether defeat in this contest will lead to a demotion for the 10th-ranked side or whether the new team will join the Test fold as the 11th member.
The other decision that the board had come to concerned the format of the next ICC World Twenty20. Like the just-concluded World Twenty20 the top eight Full Members, as per the Reliance ICC T20I Team Rankings as of 30 April 2014, will automatically qualify for the second round, while the ninth and 10th-ranked Full Members will get automatic places in the first round.
The six qualifiers will progress from the 14-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, which will be staged in Ireland and Scotland from 9 July to 2 August 2015 during which a total of 51 matches will be played.
Bangladesh's current ranking means that they will have to play the first round yet again. Zimbabwe, who are currently ranked 13th on the list, will have to play the qualifers. Ireland, who are currently ranked ninth will not have to play the qualifying round and can directly play the first round.
Since the cut-off mark for the rankings is April 30, the possibility of changes in the rankings is very slim.