"The ICC Board decision means we can now go and finalise a playing schedule ... as well as the points system, hosting arrangements and competition terms".
Following Friday's confirmation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that four-day Test matches had been given the go-ahead to be trialed, it is looking increasingly likely that South Africa will take part in the first ever shortened Test match. Three bids were under consideration; one from Zimbabwe, one from the United Arab Emirates and a joint-bid from Ireland and Scotland. ICC CEO, David Richardson also stated, "Our priority was to develop an global cricket structure that gave context and meaning across worldwide cricket and particularly in the Test arena".
The series can be a minimum of two matches and maximum of five, with all tests to be five days in length. "It's all positive. The Ashes will continue to be the biggest Test event that we play, but these matches will have even greater meaning than they do now, if that's possible". The four-day match between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be a Boxing Day Test. ICC gave the Test a trial status.
Earlier, Bangladesh were scheduled to host the qualifiers but because they gained direct entry, finishing in the top eight of the ICC ODI rankings on the cut-off day, September 30, Zimbabwe put themselves up for consideration. It will be contested by the 12 full members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League Championship.
The ICC has also given green signal to other nations to host four-day Test on trial basis up until ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. "The top eight will qualify automatically for the World Cup".
The ICC is now in the process of drawing up a set of playing conditions for four-day Test matches, and those are expected to implemented for Boxing Day in PE.
In the Test series league, nine teams will be playing three home and three away series each, with each series comprising 2-5 tests.