ICC launches 2017 World Test Championship

Johannesburg, Oct 13 (ANI): The International Cricket Council has reportedly launched the 2017 World Test Championship in a bid to preserve the dominance of the longer format of the game.

The championship, originally planned for 2013 but delayed because broadcasters wanted a limited overs event, will replace the Champions Trophy, the last edition of which was hosted by England earlier this year.

According to Sport24, the world cricket governing body's chief executive David Richardson said that the inaugural championship will be hosted by England and will feature the top four teams in the ICC Test rankings, with a total prize money of ten million dollars.

Richardson also said that one of the objectives of the Championship is to preserve the future of all formats of the game given that Test cricket has faced serious competition in recent years from the Twenty20 phenomenon, adding that the qualifying phase for the Test championship runs from May 2013 and will end in December 2016.

Richardson further said that the qualification pathway for the Championship will be through the ICC Test team rankings and the top four teams at the conclusion of the qualification period will qualify for the event in 2017.

Ashes winners England are at number two in the rankings, India are at three, Australia are fourth and the West Indies fifth. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are ranked sixth and seventh respectively, the report added. (ANI)

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