The ICC Chief Executive Committee (CEC) has proposed a two-tier Test league along with a 13-team ODI league, which will determine the teams who qualify for the 2019 World Cup in the UK.
The two-tier Test league may have the top nine teams as per ICC rankings in the elite league, while the likes of Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland scrap in the second tier with a few other associate nations. A regional T20 competition is also being mulled for the World T20. The proposals will now go to the ICC Board and if approved, a two-year Test league, a 13-team ODI league, and a regional qualification process for the World T20 could be ushered in from 2019.
The CEC has mooted the re-structuring in a league format to add more context to the game.
At the end of a two-day meeting in Dubai on Friday, the Chief Executives Committee (CEC), tasked with creating structures for Test, ODI and T20 cricket that give meaning to international matches, arrived at the proposals but it is currently unclear whether these proposals will be discussed in today’s Board meeting or at the next one in April.
If the CEC proposals are approved, then from 2019 onwards cricket may see a rolling two-year Test league with a 9-3 format, where the top nine Test countries compete among themselves and against the three lower-ranked teams comprising Zimbabwe and most likely Ireland and Afghanistan (depending on whether they earn Test status). It is understood the CEC also approved a three-year, 13-team ODI league, the culmination of which will result in qualification for the 50-over World Cup, and a system of regional qualification tournaments through which teams attempt to qualify for the World T20.