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Wellington — The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to approve plans for its long-awaited World Test Championship at a meeting in New Zealand this week, it was reported on Monday. The sport’s governing body has argued for years that a Test championship is needed to boost the five-day format’s popularity as crowds and television viewers flock to the big-hitting Twenty20 version of the game. But squabbling over formats and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that plans for a nine-nation Test championship were now well advanced and the ICC was set to give the concept the green light on Friday at a meeting in Auckland. It said the first edition of the competition would run over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019, culminating in a final at Lord’s. Cricket Australia CE James Sutherland said the league competition would give Test series a broader international "context",...

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