“2 years, 9 teams, 27 series, 72 Test Matches”, feed this data in your memory, because if you are a Cricket fan as I am then this data has a significant meaning to you. This is the scenario of the first ICC World Test Championship or you can say The World Cup of Test Cricket. Yes, you heard it right and I am not kidding. ICC has recently and officially announced the World Test Championship (WTC) on 29 July 2019.
Now the Cricket has finally gotten the World Cup championship in all the formats i.e ODIs, T20Is and now the Test cricket. But the Test World Cup will be played a little bit of different manner from other formats. What is it and how it would be played, you will get all the key information regarding it in this article. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
What is the ICC World Test Championship (WTC or the World Cup of Test Cricket)?
The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) or the World Cup of Tests will start from 1 August 2019 with The Ashes 2019 plays between England and Australia. The whole tournament comprises top 9 teams in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings as on 31 March 2018, competing in 71 Test matches in 27 series across two years. Each team will play three home and three away series. The top two teams at the end will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final.
Note: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are the teams competing in the WTC.
Format of the WTC?
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 2 matches to a maximum of 5 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 9 i.e. Afghanistan, Ireland, and Zimbabwe ( now suspended by the ICC) – will not be part of the Test Championship.
Take a look at the schedule
|2 matches Test Series||3 matches Test Series||4 matches Test Series||5 matches Test Series|
|SL v NZ (2019)||WI v IND (2019)||IND v SA (2019)||SA v ENG (2019-20)||ENG v AUS (2019)|
|PAK v SL (2019)||IND v BAN (2019)||AUS v NZ (2019-20)||AUS v IND (2020-21)||IND v ENG (2021)|
|AUS v PAK (2019)||PAK v BAN (2020)||ENG v WI (2020)|
|NZ v IND (2020)||SL v ENG (2020)||SL v BAN (2020)|
|BAN v AUS (2020)||WI v SA (2020)||ENG v PAK (2020)|
|BAN v NZ (2020)||NZ v WI (2020)||BAN v WI (2021)|
|NZ v PAK (2020)||SA v SL (2021)||SA v AUS (2021)|
|PAK v SA (2021)||WI v SL (2021)|
The points distribution system?
Each team plays 6 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 half of the points available, whilst a draw will be a 3:1 points ratio.
|Matches in series||Points for a win||Points for a tie||Points for a draw||Points for a defeat|
The purpose of the WTC?
The WTC has been introduced to bring context to bilateral Test cricket. Every game in a series will count for points as the world’s best teams go head to head. The WTC honors the importance of the longest format of the game and ensures a pinnacle event for the format just as the World Cups for men and women in the ODIs and T20Is formats.
Note: 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.
The Grand Finale?
It will start from 1 August 2019 with the first Test of 2019, The Ashes series, and finish with a final at Lord’s in England on June 2021.
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