Ireland, Scotland to get a shot at Test cricket

Ireland

The International Cricket Council have approved a new Test challenge, which will occur every four years, and afford the lowest-ranked Test team and the winner of the Intercontinental Cup to play each other.

The International Cricket Council have approved a new Test challenge, which will occur every four years, and afford the lowest-ranked Test team and the winner of the Intercontinental Cup to play each other.

The inaugural event will happen in 2018 – and will add relevance to the Intercontinental Cup, which is a first-class competition between associate teams including Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland and the Netherlands.

"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 ICC chief executive David Richardson.

The new proposal suggests the Test team ranked 10th on the last day of 2017 will play four five-day fixtures against the winner of the Intercontinental Cup. The Test Challenge, though, does not intend to relegate any full member nation.

Meanwhile, the Future Tours Programme has been extended to 2023. The format of the World Twenty20, too, has been retained. The top eight full member teams in the T20I rankings on 30 April 2014 will automatically qualify for the second round of the 2016 WT20 in India.

"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," added Richardson.

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