The ICC Board has approved the introduction of an ICC Test Challenge to be held every four years between the lowest-ranked Test team and the winner of the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

The significant decision, taken at a two-day meeting which concluded at the ICC headquarters here on Thursday, will allow Associate Members a taste of Test cricket.

The proposal is that the 10th-ranked side on the Reliance ICC Test Team rankings on December 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of any series in progress at that time, will play two five-day matches at home and two five-day matches away against the winner of the upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup, with the inaugural Challenge scheduled to take place during 2018.

In the next eight years, two ICC Intercontinental Cup tournaments are planned with the first to run from 2015 to 2017 and the second between 2019 and 2021. The second Challenge is scheduled for 2022.

The ICC Board authorised the drawing up of the necessary constitutional amendments which will be placed before the Full Council at the ICC Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne at the end of June.

One of the cornerstones of the new financial model is an extended Future Tours Programme (FTP) which will now run until 2023.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “The FTP is a very important piece of work as it gives Members long-term certainty in relation to both their playing schedule and financial planning. Significant progress has been made but there is still work to be done to develop a balanced calendar of tours and finalise these agreements.”

Following the success of the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, the Board also decided to retain the format for the World Twenty20 events in 2016 to be staged in India. For the 2016 event, the top eight Full Members on the T20I rankings as on April 30, 2014, will automatically qualify for the second round and the ninth and 10th for the first round.

The next ICC and IDI Board meetings will take place during the ICC annual conference week in Melbourne in June, 2014.

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