International Cricket Council plans major overhaul to one day cricket

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Dubai: One day cricket is set for its biggest overhaul as the International Cricket Council proposes a new league of 13 nations with the top two teams playing off in a final.

The plans, which will be discussed at the ICC’s annual general meeting later this month, will come into force from 2019 and are aimed at finally giving context to bilateral tours.

It is proposed teams will play a three-match series, either home or away, against every other country, amounting to 36 ODIs each over a three-year basis.
The league would be used to determine automatic qualification, and seedings, for the World Cup, and the side finishing bottom will face relegation to the World Cricket League Championship, the second tier of one-day cricket.
Teams would also be free to organise extra ODIs, but these would not count towards the league.

Afghanistan, Ireland and Scotland could be included in the league as the ICC looks to widen the number of elite teams.

Scotland
Scotland are desperate to play a higher number of matches against top-tier teams CREDIT: REX
Senior figures at the ICC believe the proposals will provide one-day cricket with new relevance, which the format lacks outside the World Cup.

This will in turn help generate more interest and revenue from broadcasters in bilateral series, which have lost value in recent years.

It will also help 50 over cricket fight for relevance outside World Cup years and prop up the format in the face of increasing competition from Twenty20.

Chelmsford
It is hoped that the proposals will boost the popularity of 50 over cricket CREDIT: REX
The discussions are all part of the most ambitious restructuring of international cricket by the ICC which is also determined to introduce a two-divisional structure in Test cricket with promotion and relegation every two years.

Both plans will be discussed at the ICC’s annual conference, which begins in Edinburgh at the end of the month, and could be agreed at the start of July.

The reforms are partly dependent upon changes in the ICC revenue model which means voting on the proposals could wait until a board meeting in October.

The AGM is also expected to rubber stamp proposals for a World Twenty20 to be held every two years from 2018.

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