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Indian cricket team to start World Test Championship with West Indies series

The Indian cricket team will make its debut in the ICC World Test Championship in July 2019 against West Indies on their turf.

cricket Updated: Jun 20, 2018 19:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian cricket team,ICC World Test Championship,ICC Future Tours Programme
India have been the number one Test team in the world since October 2016. (BCCI )

India will kick off their World Test Championship (WTC) cycle with a two-match series in the West Indies in July-August next year and play South Africa next at home in a three-match series, the International Cricket Council announced on Wednesday.

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The ICC released the men’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) from 2018-2023 on Wednesday. The inaugural WTC will run in two cycles – 2019-2021 and 2021-2023 and feature nine top-ranked Test teams. It will run from July 15, 2019 to April 30, 2021 and the top two ranked teams will play the final at Lord’s in June. Teams will play six series in the two-year cycle on a home-and-away basis against opponents mutually selected, the statement said.

India will follow their Caribbean series by hosting South Africa (3 Tests) and Bangladesh (2 Tests) in Sept-Oct, 2019 with a two-game away series against New Zealand in early 2020 in the next competition as part of the Test championship cycle.

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The WTC will kick off with the Ashes series in England next summer.

The ICC bid to provide focus to international competition will include a 13-team men’s ODI league that will act as qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The 12 Test teams and Netherlands will figure in the ODI competition, which will run from May 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

Each side will play eight series over two years, home-and-away. India’s first ODI series in the league will be away in Sri Lanka, in June 2020, which will start the build-up to the 2023 World Cup to be held in India.

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Hosts India and seven highest-ranked sides as on March 31, 2022 will qualify directly for the tournament while the bottom five sides will compete in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier to find the last two sides.

The Test and ODI championships have been scheduled in a way that would allow teams to plan bilateral series outside them.

“The agreement of this FTP means we have clarity, certainty, and most importantly context, around bilateral cricket over the next five years,” ICC CEO Dave Richardson said in the statement.

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“Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but with the release of this FTP, our Members have found a genuine solution that gives fans around the world the chance to engage regularly with international cricket that has meaning and the possibility of a global title at the end.”

The structure of men’s FTP includes the ICC Cricket World Cups (2019, 2023), ICC World T20s (2020, 2021), World Test Championship cycle 1 (2019-2021 with final), cycle 2 (2021-2023 with final) and all bilateral Tests, ODIs and T20Is.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 18:23 IST