World Test Championship kick starts on August 1 with 9 teams to compete for top spot

The top nine Test-playing nations will compete across 71 matches in 27 series which will be played in the next two years. The prestigious International Cricket Council championship will begin with the 'Ashes' encounter between England and Australia

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) officially launched the much-awaited maiden World Test Championship (WTC) on Monday. The championships will witness a competition between the top nine Test-playing nations who will look to secure the top two spots on the table after fighting each other out across 71 matches in 27 series, played across the next two years.      

Accordingly, the top two teams among the nine nations, i.e. Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies, will lock horns in the ICC World Test Championship Final in June 2021. The final will be played in the UK and the winners will be crowned ICC World Test Champions

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this summer showed just how important it is for every game to count and for the world’s best teams to go head-to-head. The World Test Championship will bring relevance and context to bilateral Test cricket over the next two years, creating a pinnacle event for the five-day format, just as the World Cups for men and women do in the ODI and T20I formats,” Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager - Cricket Operations said in an official statement.

On the other hand, Indian skipper Virat Kohli exclaimed that they have been awaiting the ICC World Test Championship as it adds context to the longest format of the game. He also explained how Test cricket has been very challenging and it would be 'highly satisfying' for the team to come out on top in the traditional form of the game.

Here's how the ICC World Test Championship will function:

  • The championship will begin from August 1 onwards as Australia and England will face each other in the Ashes
  • The Test Championship will consist of the top nine Test teams in the world (Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies)
  • Each team will play three home and three away series
  • Each series will count for 120 points, distributed over the number of matches in a series.
  • For example, for a two-match series, every match will consist of 60 points each whereas a three-match series will give 40 points to each Test match
  • A tie will be 50 per cent of the points available, whereas a draw will be a 3:1 points ratio
  • The number of matches in each series can vary between a minimum of two matches, to a maximum of five matches
  • The first cycle of the WTC consists of only five-day matches and will include day-night matches.
  • Only matches identified as part of the WTC will count towards the championship.
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