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16th-20th May: 1st Test, Lord's
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that the World Test Championship will be played for the first time in 2017. It had been provisionally scheduled to be played in England in 2013 in place of the Champions Trophy, which will now go ahead as planned.
"I am afraid that's no longer going to happen in 2013. At the last board meeting we decided that the first opportunity that we can play the World Test Championship is at 2017. So I am disappointed that it is not going to take place sooner,'' ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat told reporters in Dubai.
In October, following a meeting of the ICC Chief Executives' Board in Dubai, Lorgat had intimated that replacing the Champions Trophy with the Test Championship represented a 'significant commercial challenge'.
It is understood that the ICC's broadcast partner, ESPN Star Sports, was unwilling to support the switch in events and with broadcast rights up for renewal before 2017, the ICC should find itself in a stronger bargaining position.
"It is a reality of the commitments that we have got already through to 2015. We were tempted to switch Champions Trophy to become a Test Championship but that's not going to be possible.
"We attempted to form the World Test Championship which I think would have been a very good context to ensuring the primacy of Test match cricket. But again we will have wait for 2017 to see that as a reality,'' he added.
The four top teams in the rankings were due to play semi-finals and a final in England but no details on the format of the 2017 tournament have yet been finalised.
© Cricket World 2011
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