NEW DELHI: The World Cup hangover is over and it’s now time for a new battle. The inaugural edition of the World Test Championship will kick off with the upcoming Ashes series from August 1 in Edgbaston. India, too, will be part of the first leg of the Championship, when they clash against the West Indies, while Sri Lanka will take on New Zealand at home as part of the Championship.
Here are the salient points of the format of the World Test Championship, a series which the ICC is hoping will see fans find renewed interest in the longest format of the sport:
- The two-year cycle will see 9 of the 12 Test playing countries in action.
- Each team will play Test series against six of the other eight teams, with each series consisting of 2-5 matches.
- While all the teams will not be playing the same number of matches, they will all play six series (three home and three away) each. A maximum of 120 points is there for the taking for every team from each series.
- At the end of the league phase, the two teams with the maximum number of points will qualify for the final.
- The Championship will culminate with a final at Lord’s in England in June 2021.
Test series, with different number of matches will have different points systems. Here’s the proposed points system for the Test Championship:
The Ashes, starting August 1, will be the first bilateral series under the World Test Championship banner. The Test Championship will also be the first Test series where players will sport jersey numbers on their shirts.
It has been learnt that most of the Indian players will opt for their limited-overs jersey numbers in the Test series against the West Indies.
India will overall play 6 Test series as part of the Championship. Since there is no bilateral cricket being played with Pakistan, there won’t be any series against the neighbours as part of the Championship.
Following a two-year trial, the ICC has also approved concussion substitutes in international cricket. The rule will be effective from the Ashes series.
Also, International cricket captains will no longer run the risk of being suspended for slow over-rates with the ICC deciding to instead dock points and fine the entire side for any such violations, starting with the World Test Championship.