The ICC believed that interest in international Test cricket was dying out due to the popularity of the faster format of the games. Therefore, they decided that something had to be done to improve public interest, so they created the World Test Championship, which gives each team something else to play for instead of just a series result. The ICC hope that this new competition will make fans pay more attention to Test cricket as all results can affect each team. Below we take a closer look at this new tournament.
When Did It Start?
The very first ICC World Test Championship began at the beginning of August in 2019 when Australia traveled to England to play in the Ashes, which finished 2-2. The ICC had been thinking of this competition for a long time, and the first one was meant to start way back in 2013 and then 2017. However, due to various reasons, it kept getting cancelled and was finally scheduled to start in August 2019.
What Teams Will Take Part?
There are twelve nations that play Test cricket at this moment in time, but only nine of them will be playing in this competition. The competing nations are England, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, and South Africa.
These teams will play a 2, 3, 4, or 5-match series against six teams, meaning that there are two teams that each team will not be playing. Each team will play six series, three away and three at home, but each team will not play the same number of Test matches.
What is the Format and Points System of this Tournament?
since each team will play six teams, the competition will consist of 72 matches in total. When all the games have been played, the two teams that sit at the top of the points table will play in a final. If the final ends up being drawn, then both teams will be named as joint champions. So, how does the points system work? Well, it depends on how many matches are being played in the series.
- In a 2-match series there will be 60 points for a win, 30 for a tie, 20 for a draw, and 0 for a loss
- In a 3-match series there will be 40 points for a win, 20 for a tie, 13 for a draw, and 0 for a loss
- In a 4-match series there will be 30 points for a win, 15 for a tie, 10 for a draw, and 0 for a loss
- In a 5-match series there will be 24 points for a win, 12 for a tie, 8 for a draw, and 0 for a loss
Therefore, with each series, there are 120 points up for grabs. If a team does not stick to a decent over-rate, then they will be deducted two points for each over they are behind.