Skip to main content

Cricket plans Test league to crown world champion

Pakistan playing against England in the fourth Test at Lord's in August.
Pakistan playing against England in the fourth Test at Lord's in August.
  • International Cricket Council unveils plans to introduce Test league and playoff system
  • The event would be held every four years from 2013 to crown a world champion
  • ICC also plans to introduce one-day league and cut World Cup to 10 teams by 2015

(CNN) -- Cricket's ruling body has unveiled plans to boost the popularity of the sport's five-day format by introducing a Test match league and playoff system.

Under the proposals outlined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on its website, results between Test-playing nations will all count towards a table, with the top four sides going forward into a head-to-head competition to decide the world champion.

Attendances at five-day Test matches have suffered in recent years as the popularity of 20-over cricket has soared, especially in Asia, where the Indian Premier League has attracted several of the world's top players on lucrative salaries.

Following a two-day meeting of its chief executives' committee, the ICC released a statement outlining proposals to hold a Test playoff every four years, starting in 2013.

At present, international sides follow a pattern of playing regular series against each other, with results determining world rankings, but with no trophy to decide an overall champion.

The ICC also outlined plans to create a one-day international league, running between April 2011 and April 2014, with the aim of crowning a league champion.

The number of teams competing in the Cricket World Cup, held every four years, could be reduced from 14 to 10 teams from 2015.

"Restructuring international cricket is a significant strategic challenge and one that must be dealt with," said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat. "Achieving balance and unanimous agreement is not easy but it is a very important piece of work."

The ICC initiatives come with the sport reeling from a betting scandal. Three Pakistan cricketers are alleged to have been involved in "spot-fixing" during the Test series with England late last month.