ICC launches inaugural World Test Championship, tournament to be played over two years

Getting underway on August 1, the WTC will see the top nine Test teams compete in 71 Test matches across 27 series in different continents. The tournament will be played over two years with the top two teams contesting the final in June 2021 in the United Kingdom.

The World Test Championship is scheduled to happen in two year cycles with the first one commencing from August 1, 2019 and running till March 31, 2021. The second one is slated to take place from June 2021 to April 30, 2023. (Representative Photo)

The World Test Championship is scheduled to happen in two year cycles with the first one commencing from August 1, 2019 and running till March 31, 2021. The second one is slated to take place from June 2021 to April 30, 2023. (Representative Photo)   -  Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC), on Monday, officially launched the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC).

Getting underway on August 1, the WTC will see the top nine Test teams (as per the ICC Test team rankings on March 31, 2018)  – Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies – compete in 71 Test matches across 27 series in different continents. The tournament will be played over two years with the top two teams contesting the final in June 2021 in the United Kingdom.

The Host Board is responsible for all organizational matters including venues, broadcast, ticketing, etc. The ICC is responsible for overseeing the competition by way of providing match officials and ensuring matches are played as per the World Test Championship playing conditions and competition terms. The ICC is also responsible for delivery of the finals.

READ: ICC WTC will add context to five-day game: Kohli

ICC General Manager - Cricket Operations, Geoff Allardice said, “The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this summer showed just how important it is for every game to count and for the world’s best teams to go head-to-head. The World Test Championship will bring relevance and context to bilateral Test cricket over the next two years, creating a pinnacle event for the five-day format, just as the World Cups for men and women do in the ODI and T20I formats."

The tournament is scheduled to happen in two year cycles with the first one running till March 31, 2021. The second one is slated to take place from June 2021 to April 30, 2023.

League format of the Championship

Each of the nine teams in the WTC plays three home and three away series, with the opponents decided by mutual agreement often within existing frameworks of Member rights agreements. The number of matches in each series can vary between a minimum of two matches to a maximum of five matches.

The first cycle of the WTC consists of only five-day matches and will include day-night matches, subject to bilateral and mutual agreement between the opponents.

Only the matches identified as part of the WTC will count towards the championship. Any matches featuring the teams outside the top nine - Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe - will not be part of the Test Championship.

2- Test Series: SL v NZ (2019), WI v IND (2019), PAK v SL (2019), IND v BAN (2019), AUS v PAK (2019), PAK v BAN (2020), NZ v IND (2020), SL v ENG (2020), BAN v AUS (2020), WI v SA (2020), BAN v NZ (2020), NZ v WI (2020), NZ v PAK (2020), SA v SL (2021), PAK v SA (2021), and WI v SL (2021)
3-Test Series: IND v SA (2019), AUS v NZ (2019-20), ENG v WI (2020), SL v BAN (2020), ENG v PAK (2020), BAN v WI (2021), and SA v AUS (2021)
4-Test Series: SA v ENG (2019-20), and AUS v IND (2020-21)
5-Test Series: ENG v AUS (2019), and IND v ENG (2021)

 

The Point System

Each team plays six series, with each series counting for 120 points, distributed over the number of matches in a series. For example, a two-match series will mean 60 points for each Test while a three-match series will give 40 points to each Test match. A tie will be 50% of the points available, whilst a draw will be a 3:1 points ratio.

 

Distribution of points in ICC World Test Championship

 

Matches in seriesPoints for a winPoints for a tiePoints for a drawPoints for a defeat
26030200
34020130
43015100
5241280

 

Where to watch the World Test Championships?

The broadcast rights for each series belong to the Host Member Board. However, the rights for the WTC Final in June 2021 rest with the ICC.