ICC sets up ODI League as a pathway to World Cup qualification

In an effort to provide more context to bilateral series, the nine top-ranked Test sides will feature in the World Test Championship - meaning Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe miss out.

Team India's opening series in the World Test Championship is against the West Indies in the Caribbean in July 2019, while their first ODI series in the league is against Sri Lanka in June 2020. The two top-ranked sides will then progress to the June 2021 final to decide the World Test champions.

The Boxing Day test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is one of cricket's most prestigious matches.

Before the historic three-Test, three ODI tour of Australia, the Black Caps will host England for two Tests and five T20s in October and November next year. As per the new FTP, the ICC has kept the Ashes under the new Test championship.

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New Zealand's 2019-20 summer programme will also include two home Tests against the current No.1 seeds, India, and a home T20 series against Australia. The league will end on 31 March 2022, with the seven highest-ranked teams apart from India - who make the grade automatically as hosts - qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. "The World Test Championship will get underway next year with the ODI league kicking off in 2020 as part of the qualification towards the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023", ICC Chief Executive David Richardson was quoted as saying in the release.

All the sides will play eight series over a two-year cycle. "We have now delivered both, and we believe the players and Irish cricket fans will be excited by the enticing programme ahead".

"There's a lot to look forward to, but it's hard to go past the three match Test series in Australia next year as a highlight. I think all New Zealanders will have a circle around that one".

New Zealand's next global series is against Pakistan including three tests in the United Arab Emirates, starting in October, while Sri Lanka (two tests, three ODIs, one T20), India (five ODIs, three T20s) and Bangladesh (three tests, three ODIs) are touring this summer.

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New Zealand have only played three Tests at the MCG, losing by an innings in 1973-74 in a match that started on December 29, and drawing the 1980 Boxing Day Test.

In addition, the 12 Test playing nations and the Netherlands, will participate in the 13-team ODI League, which will run from May 2020 to March 2022.

Expectedly, India and Pakistan are not scheduled to play in the WTC but they could still meet in the final.

The new one-day worldwide qualification league and world test championship were other features of the FTP document. They will host as many as 102 games and barring Pakistan and Ireland, all Test playing nations will be touring the cricket insane country.

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