2019 Ashes to start World Test Championship

The first World Test Championship will begin with the Ashes in 2019, as the ICC hopes to "bring more context to bilateral Test cricket".

Each team will play six series over a period of almost two years, with the top two Test series progressing through to the final.   -  ICC

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has released the schedule for their inaugural World Test Championship, which will run from July 2019 to June 2021.

The long-anticipated tournament has finally been set in stone, with the world's nine top-ranked teams discovering the calendar with the announcement of the ICC's Future Tour Programme (FTP).

England and Australia will begin the competition with the Ashes next year, with India and New Zealand playing West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively at the same time.

Each team will play six series over a period of almost two years, with the top two Test series progressing through to the final.

"The agreement of this FTP means we have clarity, certainty, and most importantly context around bilateral cricket over the next five years," said ICC chief executive David Richardson.

"The World Test Championship will get underway next year with the ODI league kicking off in 2020 as part of the qualification towards the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

"Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but with the release of this FTP, our members have found a genuine solution that gives fans around the world the chance to engage regularly with international cricket that has meaning and the possibility of a global title at the end."

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