ICC World Test Championship : A shot in the arm for Test Cricket

With the arrival of shorter formats Test cricket has been put into tremendous pressure of keeping itself alive. To sort out this issue, ICC is bringing certain methodologies to keep Test cricket in a safer zone.

ICC introduced the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship which is a league competition. It started on August 1, 2019 with the first Test of the 2019 Ashes. During these two years, nine out of 12 test playing nations will feature. Each team will play against six out of eight teams, three at home and three away.

If we talk about the points table and winner-deciding factor, then here are the rules :

  • Each team will play six-series against six out of eight teams.
  • It can be a two-match, three-match, four-match or five-match series.
  • Each series will consist of 120 points.
  • Depending on whether the series is two, three, four or fuve matches long, the points for a single match win will be half, one-third, quarter and one-fifth of the total points (i.e.120) respectively.
  • In case of a draw, both teams will share one-third of a single match win points ( depending on the number of matches in series).
  • In case of a tie, both teams will share half of a single match win points (again, depending on the number of matches in series)
  • In case of a draw or tie in the final, both teams will be declared as the joint winner of the tournament.

Distribution of points in ICC World Test Championship : 

Matches in a SeriesPoints in a WinPoints in a DefeatPoints in a TiePoints in a Draw

As of now, three series have been completed (India vs WI, Australia vs England and Sri Lanka vs New Zealand).

Current Points Table of ICC World Test Championship :

RankTeamMatchesWins    LossesTie       Draw    Points    
2New Zealand2110060
3Sri Lanka2110060
6West Indies202000
7South Africa000-00

At the CWI/WIPA awards night, Kohli said, "The games are going to be much more competitive and it brings a lot of purpose to the Test matches you play. It's the right move and the absolute right time".

Although, the original plan was to commence the championship in 2013 but those plans were abandoned. It was rescheduled for June 2017 but then again, in January 2014, it got cancelled and ICC Champions Trophy was reintroduced. In October 2017, ICC announced that the Test league will start after the 2019 ICC World Cup, which would involve the top nine teams and the tournament. It will be played for two years with the top two teams qualifying for the ICC World Test Championship Final. 

It's clear that ICC is putting their efforts in order to save the oldest and longest format of cricket and the Test Championship will be a shot in the arm for the tournament.

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