Associate teams got an opportunity to play Test cricket, with the ICC Board approving an ICC Test Challenge, which will take place every four years between the lowest-ranked Test team and the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup. These things were decided in two-day meeting at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai on 9th and 10th of April. Here are the points discussed in the meeting.

Test Challenge and FTP revisions:

The inaugural Test Challenge will take place in 2018, with the intention of giving a cause to the Intercontinental Cup.

The Intercontinental Cup, spread out over two years, is a first-class tournament played among the Associate teams. According to the new proposal, the side ranked 10th in the ICC Test rankings on December 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, will play two five-day Tests at home and two five-day Tests away against the winner of the upcoming Intercontinental Cup.

The next Intercontinental Cup will run from 2015 to 2017, and the next edition from 2019 to 2021. The second ICC Test Challenge is scheduled for 2022. Since the Intercontinental Cup’s inception in 2004, Ireland has won it four times, with Afghanistan and Scotland winning one each. The new proposal will give promising teams like Ireland a chance to take their international cricket to the next level.

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,” ICC chief executive David Richardson, said at the end of the two-day board meeting in Dubai.

Full Member nations will not lose their status and voting rights and their FTP arrangements are also expected to be completed if they lose in the challenge. The Board has agreed to set in place the Test challenge and its structure, format and principles will be passed through following at the ICC’s annual conference.

During the previous ICC Board meeting in February 8, the Board had gained the necessary votes to approve a large number of sweeping changes relating to the governance, financing and structure of international cricket. One of the crucial points of the new financial model is an extended Future Tours Programme (FTP) which will now run until 2023, and while it may still be monitored by the ICC, it is expected to comprise bilateral memorandum of understandings that are binding.

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,” Richardson said. “Significant progress has been made but there is still work to be done to develop a balanced calendar of tours and finalise these agreements.

ICC reform of governance and financial models:

The ICC Board also authorised the drawing up of the necessary constitutional amendments which will be placed before the Full Council at the ICC Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne at the end of June. These amendments refer to the creation of a new commercial arm of the ICC as well as the changes in the administrative structures, pertaining to the chairmanship and the creation of a new all-powerful panel called the Executive Committee.

In other developments, the ICC has agreed to retain the format of the World T20 for the next edition, to be held in India in 2016. For the next tournament, the top eight Full Members on the ICC T20I rankings, as on April 30 2014, will automatically qualify for the second round, while the ninth and 10th ranked Full Members will get automatic places in the first (qualifying) round. Six qualifiers will progress from the 14-team ICC World T20 Qualifier in 2015, which will be staged in Ireland and Scotland from July 9 to August 2 2015.

ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014:

The ICC Board thanked the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the successful staging of the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 and praised the Bangladesh government, security agencies and the general public for their contributions and support. The ICC Board also congratulated Sri Lankan team for winning the men’s title and Australia’s women for completing a hat-trick of titles.

ICC President Alan Isaac said: “The ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 was an extremely successful event which was thoroughly enjoyed by the players, officials, spectators and media. A lot of credit must be given to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the ICC team for putting up a memorable show.

“The event helped Bangladesh enhance its infrastructure in Dhaka and Chittagong and develop a new international venue in Sylhet.  Sri Lanka’s triumph means the event has produced five different men’s champions in as many editions. The encouraging performances of the Associate Members and their successes over the Full Members clearly reflect that the ICC World Twenty20 is the most open tournament on the ICC calendar.”

Format and qualification process for the ICC World Twenty20 2016:

Following the success of the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, the ICC Board agreed that the same format to be retained for the ICC World Twenty20 event in 2016, which will be hosted by India.

For the 2016 event, the top eight Full Members on the Reliance ICC T20I Team Rankings as on 30 April 2014 will automatically qualify for the second round, while the ninth and 10th ranked Full Members will get automatic places in the qualifier round. The other six qualifiers will progress from the 14-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, which will be staged in Ireland and Scotland from 9 July to 2 August 2015 during which a total of 51 matches will be played.

ICC Cricket Committee

The Board confirmed the appointment of Australia coach Darren Lehmann and the West Indies coach Ottis Gibson as the representatives of national coaches on the ICC Cricket Committee following the completion of former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten’s term.

Other updates

The ICC Board also considered a general update on anti-corruption and integrity while the IDI Board received a report from the Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee which included updates on the commercial rights post-2015, Host and Members’ Participation Agreements for the next commercial rights cycle, online piracy, event forecasts and audited financial statements for 2013.

The next ICC and IDI Board meetings will take place during the ICC Annual Conference week in Melbourne in June 2014.

The ICC Board consists of the nominated representatives of each of the 10 Full Members plus three elected Associate Member representatives. Also present at ICC Board meetings is the ICC President, who chairs proceedings, the ICC Chief Executive and the ICC Vice-President.

ICC President                                Alan Isaac
ICC Vice-President                        Mustafa Kamal
ICC Chief Executive                      David Richardson

Australia                                       Wally Edwards
Bangladesh                                   Nazmul Hassan
England                                         Giles Clarke
India                                             Narayanaswami Srinivasan
New Zealand                                 Martin Snedden
Pakistan                                        Najam Sethi
South Africa                                  Peter Cyster*
Sri Lanka                                       Jayantha Dharmadasa
West Indies                                   Dave Cameron
Zimbabwe                                      Peter Chingoka

Associate Member Director (Bermuda)        Neil Speight
Associate Member Director (Scotland)         Keith Oliver
Associate Member Director (Singapore)      Imran Khawaja