ICC officially launches World Test Championship
The best cricketing body, International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday officially launched the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC). The championships will see the top nine Test-playing countries fight it out with each other beyond 71 matches in 27 series, played in the next 2-years. The top 2- teams among the 9-countries, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies- will fight in the ICC World Test Championship Final in June 2021 (to participate in the UK) and the winners will be honoured ICC World Test Champions.
“The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this season showed just how powerful it is for each game to count and for the world’s greatest teams to go head-to-head. The World Test Championship will bring significance and context to respective Test cricket over the next 2-years, creating a pinnacle event for the 5-day format, now as the WorldCups for men & women do in the ODI & T20I formats,” Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager – Cricket Operations told in an official statement.
“We are expecting the ICC World Test Championship with great interest as it adds context to the largest format of the game. Test cricket is so challenging and coming out on top in the traditional form is always highly comforting. The Indian team has done well in recent years and will be liking its chances in the championship,” Indian skipper Virat Kohli replied.
The championship will start from Aug-1 as Australia and England will face each other in the Ashes. WTC will cover off the top-9 Test teams in the world (Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka & West Indies).
“Test cricket is the summit of our sport. It is the very nature of cricket, and the majority of players want to attempt to play the simplest form of the sport. The ICC World Test Championship is another excellent initiative for the sport, adding context and importance to every Test series. Each Test matters, but even more so now,” England pacer James Anderson told.
“The World Test Championship is a wonderful initiative. We love performing Test cricket, it’s the pinnacle for us, lives hugely popular in Australia and we’re happy that it enjoys great support at home among players, the media and the public. To wear the loose green is the final for all Australian cricketers and if the World Test Championship helps to assure that all countries make Tests a high preference then that has to be good news for the sport in general and the continuing health of the format in particular,” Australian skipper Tim Paine told.
Points will be up for snatches during each match & each team will play 3-home and 3-away series. Each series will count for 120 points, diffused over the number of events in a series.
For example, a 2-match series will mean 60 points for each Test while a 3-match series will provide 40 points to each Test match. A tie will be 50% of the positions possible, whereas a draw will be a 3:1 points ratio.
The matches will be played in the same format as mutual series but with the added context of a fight and 1-champion team. The number of matches in all series can range between a min of 2-matches, to a max of 5-matches.
The 1st cycle of the WTC consists of only 5-day matches and will add day-night matches. Only matches classified as part of the WTC will count towards the championship.