ICC launches World Test Championship

The International Cricket Council has today (Monday) officially launched the inaugural World Test Championship, which will get underway on August 1 and conclude in June 2021 at a to-be-confirmed UK venue.

The WTC will be contested by the top nine Test teams in the world: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. It will comprise 71 Test matches across 27 series, with the top two teams to contest the final in two years’ time.

The ICC approved the launch of the WTC in October 2017, with the competitions having been created to inject more context into bilateral cricket. The WTC will launch with England’s Ashes series against Australia.

Points will be made available for every single game, with each team to play three home and three away series. Each series will count for 120 points, which will be distributed over the number of matches in a series.

A two-match series will provide 60 points for each Test, while a three-match series will give 40 points to each Test match. A tie will be 50 per cent of the points available, with a draw to be a 3:1 points ratio.

Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s general manager of cricket operations, said: “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.”