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England to host first Test Championship

The inaugural World Test Championship will take place in England and Wales in June and July 2017, the International Cricket Council has confirmed.

The world governing body's annual conference concluded in London today, having made a number of key decisions - particularly regarding global events from 2015 to 2023.

The World Test Championship will replace the Champions Trophy, with India hosting the second edition of the Test tournament in February/March 2021.

"We are delighted to confirm the exciting schedule of events through to 2023," ICC chief executive David Richardson said.

"The ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales was highly acclaimed and appreciated by all.

"However, the principle of one pinnacle global event for each of the three formats over a four-year cycle is a good one and, as such, the ICC board has agreed to replace the Champions Trophy with the ICC World Test Championship.

"Now that the ICC World Test Championship has been confirmed, we'll work on the playing conditions and qualification criteria, and will submit these to the ICC board for approval in due course."

Subject to finalising relevant agreements with its members, the ICC major global events for the period 2016-2023 are:

World Twenty20 2016 - BCCI

World Test Championship 2017 - ECB

Cricket World Cup 2019 - ECB

World Twenty20 2020 - Cricket Australia

World Test Championship 2021 - BCCI

Cricket World Cup 2023 - BCCI

The ICC qualifying events for the period 2015-2023 are:

World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 - Cricket Ireland/Cricket Scotland

Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 - BCB

World Twenty20 Qualifier 2019 - Tender

Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2022 - Zimbabwe Cricket

Other ICC events for the period 2016-2023 are:

U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 - BCB

Women's World Cup 2017 - ECB

U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 - NZC

Women's World Twenty20 2018 - WICB

U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 - CSA

Women's World Cup 2021 - NZC

U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 - WICB

Women's World Twenty20 2022 - CSA

Among other recommendations, the ICC also ratified a chief executives’ committee decision to alter several playing conditions.

Most notable perhaps is an updated policy when the umpires feel the need to change the ball in an international match.

The new condition states there will be a “formal introduction of a two-step process when the umpire believes the condition of the ball has been changed, but there is no eye witness to identify which player changed the condition of the ball: i) Replace the ball and give the captain a first and final warning. ii) award a five-run penalty to the batting team, replace the ball (with the batsman to choose) and report the captain under the ICC code of conduct.”

The ruling will come into effect at the start of October.

Also agreed today is a recommendation that all full members play a minimum of 16 Tests in each four-year cycle.

Afghanistan are now officially an associate member country, the 37th, and Romania have been accepted as an affiliate.

The ICC has decided too that a player who wishes to return from eligibility with a full member to his original associate - for example, from England to Ireland - be reduced from four years to two.

The world governing body has also received a raft of recommendations to enhance its anti-corruption and security unit.

Richardson said: “The ICC has a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and is committed to using all powers available to it to achieve and maintain the goal of a corruption-free sport.”

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