Australia displaces India, takes top spot in World Test Championship rankings

The ICC Board accepts recommendations from the Cricket Committee to let the rankings be based on the number of matches completed in a WTC cycle.

Australia and India will square off in a four-match Test series next month. - GETTY IMAGES

Australia has displaced India at the top of the World Test Championship (WTC) due to a change in the calculation of points for the inaugural edition of the Championship.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on Thursday accepted the recommendation of the Cricket Committee and the Chief Executives’ Committee to not put any team at a disadvantage for being unable to participate in a WTC series due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cricket Committee chaired by former India captain and head coach Anil Kumble recommended that the rankings be determined based on matches completed in the WTC cycle instead of total points earned. It has resulted in India, with percentile score of 75 despite having 360 points in its kitty, being moved down to the second spot after Australia (82.2 percentile, 296 points).

The top two teams at the end of the league stage in April, 2021, are scheduled to face each other in the maiden WTC final at Lord’s in June next year.

Women’s T20 WC postponed

Since the pandemic has resulted in the postponement of the Women’s ODI World Cup, the ICC Board decided to postpone the Women’s T20 World Cup, shifting it from the end of 2022 to February, 2023. An ICC statement explained that the decision was to space out the event since 2022 will witness two other major women’s cricket events: the ODI World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

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“As there are currently no major women’s events scheduled to take place in 2023 the Board confirmed the switch for the T20 World Cup to better support player preparation and to continue to build the momentum around the women’s game beyond 2022,” read the statement.

Stalemate over ICC chair continues

Meanwhile, it is understood that the stalemate over Shashank Manohar’s successor as ICC chairman couldn’t be resolved during the ICC Board meeting as the first round of voting remained inconclusive according to the regulations.

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According to ESPNcricinfo, Greg Barclay of New Zealand beat the interim ICC chairman Imran Khwaja of Sigapore 10-6. However, since Barclay couldn’t garner the prescribed majority of 11 votes according to ICC election procedure, the election will be stretched into the second round.

If Barclay doesn’t manage to get 11 votes in the second or the third round, Khwaja will be elevated as the first ICC chairman from an associate nation. Sportstar understands that the BCCI has been supporting Barclay’s candidacy but hasn’t been able to reach the magic mark of 11 votes in a secret ballot voting.

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