[caption id="attachment_649773" align="aligncenter" width="628"]<img class="size-full wp-image-649773" alt="Dave Richardson AFP" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/dave-richardson.jpg" width="628" height="355" /> Dave Richardson AFP[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>The <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/icc" target="_blank">International Cricket Council (ICC)</a> is set to approve plans for its long-awaited <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/world-test-championship" target="_blank">World Test Championship</a> at a meeting in New Zealand this week, it was reported Monday. The sport's governing body has argued for years that a Test championship is needed to boost the five-day format's popularity as crowds and television viewers flock to the big-hitting T20 version of the game. But squabbling over formats and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010. <em>The Sydney Morning Herald</em> reported that plans for a nine-nation Test championship were now well advanced and the ICC was set to give the concept a green light on Friday at a meeting in Auckland. <p></p> <p></p>It said the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final between the top two teams at Lord's. <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/cricket-australia" target="_blank">Cricket Australia (CA)</a> chief executive James Sutherland said the league competition would give Test series a broader international "context", making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests."You're also creating structure in such a way that you no longer have games without meaning. They are all part of a league championship," he told the Herald. <p></p> <p></p>Purists view Test cricket as the pinnacle of the sport but it has struggled, particularly in Asia, as lucrative T20 competitions such as the <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/ipl" target="_blank">Indian Premier League (IPL)</a> have caught the public's imagination. A recent innovation designed to reverse the trend is the introduction of day-night Test matches, which moves playing sessions to more spectator-friendly hours. The idea of four-day Test matches has also been floated, although traditionalists oppose the move. <p></p> <p></p>The Herald reported that the ICC will also look at a major shake-up of one-day international fixtures at the Auckland meeting. It said a 13-nation ODI league was being considered, which would operate on a three-year cycle with results affecting World Cup qualification. <p></p> <p></p>Under the plans, the number of ODIs in a series would be capped at three, ending the lengthy five-match series that are currently part of the international fixture list.