It's no exaggeration to say the release of the new international schedule has been a slow burner.

The International Cricket Council is yet to publish details of the inaugural test championship, which is a key part of the still-to-be-sighted international programme for the next two years.

The wait is now running into the months. The holdup is starting to irritate some countries.

The championship will kick off in the second half of next year.

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New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White is one who has admitted it has become a frustrating business.

''We want it released but it has got to be from the ICC,'' White said. ''It's our preference to get it released as soon as possible but they are just working through some of the detail with some countries.''

It's understood there are no issues with the content of the programme. The test championship schedule has evidently been agreed.

The holdup appears to be juggling the international calender to fit all the content in, along with dovetailing domestic competitions.

The ICC have a meeting in Dublin this month.

''We're very hopeful it will be released before then, or at that meeting. I think they're 99 percent of the way there,''White added.

Ten countries will contest the first test championship, excluding the two newcomers, Ireland who lost their debut test to Pakistan last month, and Afghanistan, who make their first appearance against India in Bangalore starting on Thursday.