Written By: Vikas Jha
Rules Of ICC World Test Championship
On a number of occasion, you must have heard that Test cricket is the real cricket, or the father of all the cricket formats: ODIs or T-20s. But for last couple of decades, Test cricket has been witnessing a sharp downfall, first because of the fans’ attention towards ODIs and in recent years owing to the fast-track T-20 games.
In order to increase the popularity of this classic format of the game, ICC has come out with “The ICC World Test Championship”. In simple terms, the World Cup for the longest & oldest format of the game, that is scheduled to see the day of the light on August 1.
The interesting part is that the Championship will not be played as a separate tournament. The world cup will include a numbers of Tests played over a period of two years, the winner of which will be decided with a final match.
The possibility of a Test World Cup was brainstormed by The International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2009 and the championship was given green signal in 2010. They went on to plan about holding the first edition in 2013. Somehow, the contest was put on the back burner to 2017 and could not see the day of the light later. Lastly, the maiden ICC World Test Championship will be played from August 1, 2019 to April 30, 2021.
The championship has been started with the ambition of bringing more juice to bilateral Test cricket. The championship will begin on August 1. The first Ashes Test in Birmingham, England is set to kick-start the event.
The nine top-ranked teams in the world, as per the standard of ICC, will participate in the championship. Each side will play six series, 3 each on home and away, against jointly designated opponents in the two-year cycle. The top two sides will play in the ICC World Test Championship final in England in June 2021 to decide the champion.
Every series in the championship will be worth 120 points, irrespective of the number of Tests. Therefore, a team can score a maximum of 720 points in a cycle.
India will begin their campaign in the championship with the two-match Test series against the West Indies starting August 22.
Go through India’s schedule for the championship:
West Indies (Away) – 2 Tests
South Africa (Home) – 3 Tests
Bangladesh (Home) – 2 Tests
New Zealand (Away) – 2 Tests
November 2020-January 2021
Australia (Away) – 4 Tests
England (Home) – 5 Tests
There is going to be several features of the World Test Championship. The ICC has made a move allowing players to wear jerseys with their names and numbers on it, as in the limited-overs formats. We can get to witness these jerseys when Australia tour England for the Ashes starting 1 August.
The two-match Test series to be played during India’s tour of West Indies beginning August this year will also be the start of both teams’ campaign in the Test Championship.
Each side is bound to compete with only six of the eight teams. Apart from this, each series can have anywhere between two to five tests but it will have no impact on the point system. The point to be given from each Test series is destined to be remain constant i.e. 120. The most exciting characteristics about the point system is that the points will be awarded, not for the result of the Test series but the result gained in each test match.
|Matches in series||Points for a win||Points for a tie||Points for a draw||Points for a loss|
Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan will not be playing in the championship.
The two teams with the most points at the end of the league will contest the final in England in June 2021.
We know Test cricket has been in decline for last many years on the pretext of rising popularity of T20 cricket among the youth. Bucket full of ideas such as day-night Tests and four-day Test matches have been deliberated, argued and tested to increase the fascination of Test cricket among the masses. The World Test Championship is yet another experiment by the ICC to arrest the deteriorating viewership of Test cricket and increase its appeal, more so among the youth.