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WICB: More Test matches in the future

By KEVIN SUNICH Thursday, July 18 2013

THE West Indies are expected to play about 25 Test matches over the next two years. This was announced by Michael Muirhead Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) at a press conference at the Guyana National Stadium Providence, during the break of the first ODI between the Windies and Pakistan on Saturday.

“There have been a lot of complaints that we were not playing a lot of Test matches so we will be having 25 of them. We will have a lot of test cricket home and away and this will give us an opportunity to qualify for the ICC World Test Championships set for 2017. We will have enough time to fight for a spot there and then we can go after the top spot,” said Muirhead.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has replaced the Champions Trophy with the World Test Championships (WTC) which will be contested by the top four test playing nations in the world, playing a three-match Test championship between the first and third weeks of June 2017 in England.

There will be two semi-finals and the winners will play the final. The ICC will also ensure that the ten Test-playing teams do not manipulate the qualification period by adding, cancelling or postponing series, particularly in the last 24 months of the qualification period.

All the Test-playing countries will be expected to play a minimum of 15 Test matches between May 2013 and December 2016 to qualify for the first WTC.

The Windies have played 22 test in the last three years and while the announcement to play 25 in the next two years is excellent, it is not clear how many will be played against teams ranked above them.

The regional side under the leadership of Darren Sammy recently moved to sixth in the rankings after winning six straight test matches. This is despite the fact that the wins came against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The West Indies are now three ratings behind Pakistan who are in fifth and six behind Australia who are in fourth.

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