England won their recent two home Test series against South Africa and West Indies

The International Cricket Council has approved plans for a Test championship and one-day international league.

Nine teams will play six series of Test matches over a two-year period – three at home and three away – which will culminate in a world Test league championship final.

A 13-team ODI league, introduced from 2021, will now be used to qualify for the World Cup.

The ICC has also given the go-ahead for a trial of four-day Test matches.

The league, which will begin after the World Cup in 2019, is designed to increase interest in Test cricket and avoid one-sided affairs.

There will be a minimum of two matches in each series – all of which will be scheduled to last five days – but can be expanded to five for series such as the Ashes.

“Throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said.

The trial for four-day Test matches will run up until the World Cup, which will be hosted by England.

More to follow.

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