2019–21 ICC World Test Championship: In a bid to promote Test cricket across the World, ICC has announced the World Test Championship which will start from this year. After too much-limited overs cricket, ICC decided to boost the oldest format of Cricket to get the vintage format, the respect it deserves.
ICC had announced the schedule of the Test Championship last year, but the inaugural edition of this tournament will begin in 2019, starting from Ashes Series, which starts from 1st August 2019.
ICC had planned this Championship after 2013’s Champions Trophy, however, it got delayed then, but ICC finally made a big announcement after 2017’s Champions Trophy. ICC has decided to scrap the Champions Trophy and ICC Test Championship will replace the Champions Trophy. The tournaments final will be played in England on June 2021 at Home of Cricket, Lord’s.
Who will participate in ICC World Test Championship?
The top 9 of the 12 test playing nations will participate in this tournament. Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, and Ireland are the only teams who will not take part. India is currently the number one team in Tests. They will now have to fight the Test Championship challenge to retain their pole position in the format.
India, England, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Bangladesh will participate in ICC Test Championship.
Format of ICC World Test Championship
In the format of the Championship, each team will play home and away series against 8 teams. The team will play at least 2 Tests in the series. The two teams who will finish at number one and two will play the final at Lord’s on June 2021.
If any team plays a test series against Afghanistan, Ireland or Zimbabwe, the points will not be included in the Test Championship.
England will play a Test against Ireland before the Ashes series, but as per the ruling, ICC will not add points of the test in the World Test Championship.
Schedule of ICC World Test Championship
The Championship will start with the prestigious Ashes series between England and Australia, followed by India’s tour to West Indies and New Zealand hosting Sri Lanka. Later, Pakistan will tour Australia as a part of the Championship.
ICC has released the FTP programme of every team.
India will host South Africa after West Indies tour and later, will have a tour to New Zealand for a Test series. Every team will play 6 Test series against opponents they have mutually selected. The last series will be played between Sri Lanka and West Indies.
What about India-Pakistan series in Test Championship?
As per the FTP programme of ICC regarding Test Championship, India and Pakistan will have no series against each other. It will depend on BCCI and PCB if they wish to set up a bilateral series where the two arch-rivals could face each other.
As per the format, both teams need to play each other at home. If India denies playing Pakistan in Test Championship, then India can lose the points.
ICC World Test Championship Final
England will host the final of ICC Test Championship at Lord’s on June 2021. Top 2 teams will qualify for the Final. The winner of this game will get ICC Test Mace. Currently, India holds the ICC Test mace.
What if Final ends in a draw or tie?
If the game ends in a draw, gets washed out, or ends in a tie, then the team who has most points and finished number one in the Test Rankings will be the winner.