Steve Smith (L) captain of Australia walks from the field with teammate Adam Voges after they won the 2nd Test match during day five of the second cricket Test match between New Zealand and Australia at the Hagley Park in Christchurch on February 24, 2016. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE / AFP / Marty Melville (Photo credit should read MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Promotion and relegation could be introduced into Test cricket as early as 2019, if ICC chief executive David Richardson has his way. Richardson admitted that Test cricket required added "meaning and context" if it is to survive and revealed that the ICC hopes to unveil plans for the introduction of two divisions and, potentially, a number of new Test nations within the next few weeks.

Speaking to promote the 2017 Champions Trophy, Richardson also confirmed an intention to stage an extra World T20 tournament in 2018. The event would, he said, involve "a minimum of 16 teams" and be staged in either South Africa, Sri Lanka or the UAE. The final decision over the event's go-ahead will be made by the ICC's broadcasting partner, Star.

But it was the plans to reinvigorate Test cricket that were the most eye-catching and radical. Accepting the diminishing returns of current bilateral series, Richardson offered the prospect of Test status to the likes of Nepal, Ireland and Afghanistan, but warned more established nations - notably West Indies - that they could find themselves playing Division Two cricket if they are unable to improve their red-ball form.