ICC launches World Test Championships
July 30, 2019
Cricket Australia has welcomed the introduction of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), which begins on August 1 with the Australian men’s team playing England in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
The World Test Championship was announced by the International Cricket Council in 2018 to ascribe context to bi-lateral Test series between the top nine full member nations – Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
Each of the nine teams will play six of the eight possible opponents across a two-year period, with three series at home and three series away.
A total of 120 points are available within each series. Australia will play home series against Pakistan, New Zealand (2019-20) and India (2020-21) as well as away series in England (2019), Bangladesh (2020) and South Africa (2021). The two teams who accrue the most points as of April 30, 2021 will play the World Test Championship Final in the UK in June, 2021.
Players from all teams will wear names and numbers on the back of their Test uniforms, with the ICC implementing the initiative to help cricket fans around the world better connect with players.
Kevin Roberts, Cricket Australia’s chief executive, said:
“Cricket has had men’s World Cups in the one-day format since 1975 and the Twenty20 format since 2007. Men's Test cricket now has its own pinnacle event - the World Test Championship. After two years of intense competition in the World Test Championship, the two nations that qualify for the final in 2021 will truly deserve it. We’re excited that it all starts with the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on August 1.”
"It’s really positive that points will be awarded for each match in the World Test Championship. For players and fans, there will be more riding on every Test and there won’t be any dead rubbers towards the end of Test series.”
Australia Test captain Tim Paine said:
“The World Test Championship is a fantastic initiative. We love playing Test cricket, it’s the pinnacle for us, remains hugely popular in Australia and we’re fortunate that it enjoys great support at home among players, the media and the public.”
“To wear the baggy green is the ultimate for all Australian cricketers and if the World Test Championship helps to ensure that all countries make Tests a high priority then that has to be good news for the game in general and the continuing health of the format in particular.”
In total, the World Test Championship will feature 71 Test matches and 27 series across two years. Series can consist of either two, three, four or five Test matches, with points adjusted accordingly.
Test matches involving Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland will not accrue points. Points can be accrued during day-night Test matches if mutually agreed between the two teams. Australia and England will have a maximum of 24 points available per Test in the inaugural Test match for World Test Championship points.