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How Does ICC World Test Championship Works?

How Does ICC World Test Championship Works?

How Does ICC World Test Championship Works?

How Does ICC World Test Championship Works?

History of ICC World Test Championship:

What is ICC World Test Championship?

The ICC World Test Championship got planned earlier but was executed to act in 2019. Thus, the ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 is the inaugural edition of the event.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved the idea of this tournament back in 2010. At first, the edition was to be played in 2013 but it got postponed due to some reasons. Later, it was decided that the first edition will take place in 2017 but it did not happen either.

Out of twelve Test-playing nations, only nine are the participants. These participants were decided on behalf of their ranking. Being the full-time members, each team who did play a test series against six out of the other eight teams were included in this Championship.

Participants:

Who are the participants of the ICC World Test Championship?

The nine full members of the ICC who are the participants are:

Australia, England, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and West Indies.

As mentioned above, the teams have played six of the possible eight opponents as ICC announced that India and Pakistan will not play against each other.

The nine full members of the ICC who are not the participants are:

Who are the participants of the ICC World Test Championship?

Ireland, Afghanistan, and Zimbabwe

These three teams were the lowest-ranked members of ICC. Despite being involved in ICC FTP (Future Tour programs), they have played a pile of red-ball tests from 2019 to 2021. Notably, these tests are not part of the ICC WTC.

How does ICC World Test Championship work?

Each team is supposed to play six series (three away, three home). It is worthy to mention that each team plays the same number of series but not the same number of Tests. For example, if Team A is to face Team B, Team C, Team D, Team E, Team F, and Team G in a four-match, three-match, three-match, two matches, five-match, and three-match Test series respectively it is not necessary that team B will do the same.

It might happen that Team B can be scheduled to play against Team C, Team D, Team E, Team F, Team G, and Team H in a three-match, three-match, three-match, two-match, four-match, and five-match Test series respectively.

The above-written example clearly highlights that the number of series is similar for each team but the number of matches differs. 

Format and Point scoring:

How are points of the ICC World Test Championship calculated?

The tournament is played for over two years. Each series is obliged to hold two-five test matches but not below or above it. As with the regular Tests, the ICC WTC matches are scheduled for a five-day duration either. The team that tops the table reaches the final with the second-ranked team. Notably, the rankings and proceedings are counted on behalf of the points.

The ICC has decided that an equal number of points will be granted for each series regardless of what the length is (the number of matches does not matter). It is happening so the team playing less number of Tests is not affected negatively. Later, the points for each series are equally divided for the number of matches of that specific series.

For example, Team A plays a two-match series and that series is of two points, one point each will be yielded for every match. 1 point for each match and 2 points for the series. Now, if Team B plays a four-match Test series, the point scenario will remain the same and these two points will be distributed equally for the four matches; 0.5 points for each match and 2 points for the series.

We can say that out of 100%, 20% points are applicable to each match of a five-match test series, whereas, 50% points are applicable for each match of a two-match test series.

How Does ICC World Test Championship Works?

What happens if the ICC Test Championship is tied? What happens if the ICC World Test Championship is drawn? The ICC also has decided on the draw and tie. See the table below:

Matches in the series Points (win) Points (tie) Points (draw) Points (defeat)
2 60 30 20 0
3 40 40 13 0
4 30 15 10 0
5 24 12 8 0

The schedule of the ICC Test Championship 2019-21 was announced in 2018. It is drawn as follows:

Series (home/away) Australia Bangladesh England India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa Bangladesh West Indies
Australia 1-2 (4) 3-0 (3) 2-0 (2)
Bangladesh canceled (2) canceled (2) 0-2 (2)
England 2-2 (5) 1-0 (3) 2-1 (3)
India 2-0 (2) 3-1 (4) 3-0 (3)
New Zealand 2-0 (2) 2-0 (2) 2-0 (2)
Pakistan 1-0 (1/2) 2-0 (2) 1-0 (2)
South Africa canceled (3) 1-3 (4) 2-0 (2)
Bangladesh 2 matches (April 2021) 0-2 (2) 1-1 (2)
West Indies 0-2 (2) canceled (2) 2 matches (March 2021)

Italic: Home Team win

Bold: Draw

Normal Text: Away Team win

How has COVID affected ICC World Test Championship?

The COVID has badly affected every sports scenario. Cricket, being widely played in many nations, was interrupted. The matches after February 2020 were almost halted for six or more months. During these times, the matches were called off temporarily or permanently.

As the ICC World Test Championship was under its way, it got affected either. However, things are getting back to normal as everyone learns to live with the new normal, the countries are organizing matches behind closed doors or with limited spectators.

Discussing ICC WTC, at first, Pak vs Ban 2nd Test got called off. Later, in the same month, a two-match series between Sri Lanka and England was postponed. The next month brought the cancelation of the Australia tour to Bangladesh and the West Indies tour to England despite the COVID pandemic.

In the next month, a two-match series between Bangladesh and New Zealand was all set to take place following Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh three-match Test series but both of them were called off. Also, the South Africa tour to West Indies did not take place as WI vs Eng was rescheduled.

How has COVID affected ICC World Test Championship?

ICC announced that the six series which have been postponed due to the COVID pandemic, will be rescheduled, but later, the global cricket council revealed that they cannot take place amidst some rescheduling issues. Consequently, the council went on to change the points system.

ICC Test Championship Points table:

Teams ranking % Points Series Won Lost Drawn
India 72.2 520 6 12 4 1
New Zealand 70.0 420 5 7 4 0
Australia 69.2 332 4 8 4 2
England 61.4 442 6 11 7 3
Pakistan 43.3 286 5.5 4 5 3
West Indies 33.3 160 4 3 6 0
South Africa 30.0 144 4 3 8 0
Sri Lanka 16.7 80 4 1 6 1
Bangladesh 0.0 0 2.5 0 5 0

How Does ICC World Test Championship Works?

Matches results from 2019 to 2021:

2019:

The Ashes:

Eng vs Aus:

Result: Australia are the current holders of the Ashes

SL vs NZ: two-match test series

Result: Tied

The series was a tie between two nations as they equally put efforts from both sides making sure not to demolish.

WI vs Ind: two-match test series

Result: India won, 2-0

India clean swiped West Indies winning all the two test games played in 2019 that were part of the ICC World Test Championship.

2019-20:

Freedom Trophy:

Ind vs SA: three-match Test series

Ind vs SA: three-match Test series Result: India won, 3-0

Ind vs SA: three-match Test series
Result: India won, 3-0

Result: India won, 3-0

The astonishing form of the men in blue continued as they later won a three-match series and do not let South Africa win any single game.

Ganguly-Durjoy Trophy:

Ind vs Ban: two-match Test series

Result: Ind won, 2-0

India struck once again under Virat Kohli. They have been fabulous in all departs in Tests as they once again defeated another opponent, Bangladesh, winning all the matches of the series.

Aus vs Pak, two-match Test series

Result: Aus won, 2-0

Aus vs Pak ended totally in Australia’s favor as Pakistan could not give what was expected from them.

Pak vs SL: two-match Test series

Result: Pak won, 1-0

The first match was drawn whereas, Pakistan won the second game at the National Stadium back in 2019.

Trans-Tasman Trophy:

Aus vs NZ: three-match Test series

Result: Aus won, 3-0

Australia completely conquered as New Zealand failed to make it that time losing all the three red-ball encounters.

Basil D’Oliveria Trophy:

SA vs Eng: four-match test series:

Result: Eng won, 3-1

SA and England commenced their test journey but South Africa begot dominancy in only one match out of four.

Pak vs Ban: two-match Test series:

Result: Pak won, 1-0

One of the matches was canceled and was still due to be played. However, it could not take place and finally is terminated.

NZ vs Ind: two-match Test series:

Result: NZ won, 2-0

India finally were thrashed by New Zealand in a two-match test series.

2020:

Ban vs Aus: two-match Test series:

Result: Series canceled

This series was subjected to COVID threats just like others and could not be commenced.

Wisden Trophy:

Eng vs WI: three-match Test series:

Result: Eng won, 2-1

The Wisden trophy was organized between England and West Indies. Playing a three-match encounter, West Indies could win only one.

WI vs SA: two-match Test series:

Result: Series canceled

This series also became the COVID prey and was terminated. It is now no longer a part of the ICC Test Championship.

Eng vs Pak: three-match Test series:

Eng vs Pak: three-match Test series: Result: Eng won, 1-0

Eng vs Pak: three-match Test series:
Result: Eng won, 1-0

Result: Eng won, 1-0

Before facing New Zealand in the mid-2020, Pakistan already had suffered a huge blow losing under England at England. It is speculated that the three lions will be voyaging Pakistan soon as a goodwill gesture and return tour.

It is to be noted that the last two matches were drawn and England won the first one.

Ban vs NZ: two-match Test series:

Result: Series canceled

Notably, the series cancelation is a part of all those postponed games that could not be on-screened due to the COVID fears across the globe. It was originally programmed for August 2020.

2020-21:

NZ vs WI: two-match test series:

Result: NZ won, 2-0

The end of 2020 did not bring good gestures for West Indies as they were humiliated in a two-match Test series against New Zealand.

Here are the highlights of Kane Williamson batting:

Border Gavaskar Trophy:

Aus vs Ind: four-match Test series:

Aus vs Ind: four-match Test series: Result: Ind won, 2-1

Aus vs Ind: four-match Test series:
Result: Ind won, 2-1

Result: Ind won, 2-1

The third test match ended as a draw between two teams. India took a grip over Tim Paine-led side winning two red-ball contests out of four. Australia could make it up to the expectations in only a single match.

NZ vs Pak, two-match Test series:

Result: NZ won, 2-0

The Pakistan tour of New Zealand in 2020 did not end in the guests’ favor. They were brutally smashed under New Zealand fantastic cricket. Playing a two-match Test series, the side was degraded being whitewashed.

Here is the Day 1 highlight from Test 1:

SA vs SL: two-match Test series:

Result: SA won, 2-0

Sri Lanka continued their miserable form under the coach Mickey Arthur. Playing a two-match red-ball rivalry against South Africa, they lost both of them.

SL vs Eng: two-match Test series:

Result: Eng won, 2-0

Once again continuing with the poor tactics, Sri Lanka lost another series in the hands of expert England.

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Pak vs SA: two-match Test series:

Pak vs SA: two-match Test series: Result: Pak won, 2-0

Pak vs SA: two-match Test series:
Result: Pak won, 2-0

Result: Pak won, 2-0

The home siders men in green took an advantageous grip over the Proteas. Remembering the defeats against New Zealand lastly, Pakistan made sure to win two out of two test matches.

Ban vs WI: two-match Test series:

Result: WI won, 2-0

Bangladesh were terminated in all two games that were scheduled in February 2021 against West Indies.

Anthony De Mello Trophy:

Ind vs Eng: four-match Test series:

Ind vs Eng: four-match Test series: Result: Ind won, 3-1

Ind vs Eng: four-match Test series:
Result: Ind won, 3-1

Result: Ind won, 3-1

SA vs Aus: three-match Test series:

Result: Canceled

The series got canceled as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and is no more a part of the ICC Test Championship.

Sobers Tiserra trophy:

WI vs SL: two-match test series:

Result: Canceled due to pandemic.

It is speculated that West Indies will be playing a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in March 2021. As per the schedule, 21st-25th March will hold the first game at Sir Viv Richards Stadium whereas, the final game will begin by 29th March to terminate by 2nd April at the same stadium.

SL vs Ban: two-match Test series:

Result: Canceled

The series originally composed of three tests but was canceled in July-August 2020. Being rescheduled to October 2020, it once again got rescheduled for April 2021. The series is now cut short to two matches only.

Final:

18th-22nd June 2021: India vs New Zealand

It could have been Aus vs NZ but Ind beat Eng in a four-match test series that happened recently to proceed ahead. Notably, if Ind win, it will be Kohli’s first win in any ICC tournament as the captain.

It is to be noted that Asia Cup was scheduled to take place this June. However, India, being a crucial part and an Asian Team, will be facing New Zealand in the final of the ICC World Test Championship, hence, Asia Cup is canceled due to the unavailability of the men in blue.

Aakash Chopra also had explained that what India will need to do to qualify. However, the Kohli-led men are all ready to play the final.

Stats of ICC WTC:

Let us have a look at the stats of the Championship now:

The top three players in each category are listed:

Most runs:

Players (country) Matches Innings NO Runs Average HS 100s 50s
Marnus Labuschagne (Australia) 13 23 0 1675 72.82 215 5 9
Joe Root (England) 20 37 2 1660 47.43 228 3 8
Steve Smith (Australia) 13 22 1 1341 63.85 211 5 7

Most Wickets:

Bowler (country) Innings Wkts Runs Overs BBI BBM Avg 5WI 10WI
Pat Cummins 14 70 1472 555.3 5/28 7/69 21.2 1 0
Stuart Board 16 69 1386 499.3 6/31 10/67 20.8 2 1
Ravichandran Ashwin 13 67 1399 524.4 7/145 9/207 20.88 4 0

Highest individual score:

Batsman (country) Balls Runs Four Sixes Against Ground
David Warner (Australia) 418 335* 39 1 Pakistan Adelaide
Zack Crawley (England) 393 267 34 1 Pakistan Southampton
Virat Kohli (India) 336 254* 33 2 South Africa Pune

Best bowling figures in an innings:

Stats of ICC WTC:

Bowler (country) Wkts Runs Overs Maidens Economy Opposition
Lasith Embludeniya 7 137 42 6 3.26 England
Ravi Ashwin 7 145 46.2 11 3.12 South Africa
Jasprit Bumrah 6 27 12.1 3 2.21 West Indies

Best bowling figure in a match:

Bowler (country) Wkts Runs Overs Maidens Ground Opposition
Axar Patel (India) 11 70 36.4 9 Ahmedabad England
Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand) 11 117 41 14 Christchurch Pakistan
Stuart Board (England) 10 67 22.1 5 Old Trafford West Indies

Best batting averages:

Batsman (country) Matches Runs Averages HS 50s 100s
Marnus Labuschagne (Australia) 13 1675 72.82 215 9 5
Rohit Sharma(India) 11 1030 64.38 212 2 4
Steve Smith (Australia) 13 1341 63.85 211 6 4

Best bowling averages:

Bowler Matches wickets Avergaes BBI BBM
Axar Patel (India) 3 27 10.59 6/38 11/70
Kylie Jamieson (New Zealand) 6 36 13.27 6/48 11/117
Ishant Sharma (India) 11 36 17.36 5/22 9/78

Also, see:

How Does Super Over Rule Works in Cricket?

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