London:The International Cricket Council has hinted that a Test Championship might be conducted in 2013 in England to revive fans' interest in the five-day format which is struggling due to the growing popularity of Twenty20s.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the governing body is looking at ways to revive the dwindling interest in the five-day game.
"There's real talk of a Test play-off in the not too distant future around 2012 or 2013," Lorgat told Radio Five Live Extra.
"There's a slot in 2013 that we think could work, where they would take the existing rankings table and the top four would progress into a semi-final and final.
"We have an open mind, we will structure the formats and events correctly so we are not sitting with the mindset that this is not negotiable. If that [the Champions Trophy] has to be replaced by the Test championship final, then so be it," Lorgat said.
An ICC sub-committee, comprising the governing body's general manager for cricket Dave Richardson and five member nation chief executives, presented a discussion paper to the board in Singapore last month.
Lorgat said while a final proposal will still take some time to materialise, he strongly believes the concept is closer to reality than ever before.
"There's a lot of work that has been done. It's not straightforward and I think we will see in the not too distant future some proposal on the table. The best way for me to describe it is a work in progress. There's a lot of good work that has been done.
"They've now been tasked with putting together a firmer proposal at the next chief executive's committee meeting. I'm encouraged with the progress we've made. I'm a lot more confident now. When I first got involved it was a foreign concept.
"I'm confident when I see a lot more of the Full Members are beginning to see the need for context and the need for generating more interest in Test cricket," he said.