ICC CONFIRMS DETAILS OF NEXT WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP…

The International Cricket Council has confirmed the points system for the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) as well as the bilateral series that will be part of the 2021-23 cycle commencing next month.

Each match of the upcoming WTC will now be contested for the same number of points – 12 for a win, four for a draw and six for a tie, moving away from the previous system where the same number of points were allocated to each series, divided across the number of matches played.

ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said the changes had been made to simplify the points system while taking learnings from the disruption last year:

“We received feedback that the previous points system needed to be simplified. The Cricket Committee took this into consideration when proposing a new, standardized points system for each match. It maintained the principle of ensuring that all matches in a WTC series count towards a team’s standing, while accommodating series varying in length between two Tests and five Tests.

“During the pandemic we had to change to ranking teams on the points table using the percentage of available points won by each team, since all series could not be completed. This helped us determine the finalists and we were able to complete the championship within the scheduled time frame. This method also allowed us to compare the relative performance of teams at any time, regardless of how many matches they had played.”

WTC 2 Fixtures: As in the first edition of the championship, the nine teams will play six series each, three home and three away with the cut-off date being 31 March 2023.

Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, India captain Virat Kohli and England captain Joe Root looked forward to doing their best in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship, which commences with the England-India series in Nottingham on 4 August.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson: “It was obviously pretty special to win the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in Southampton last month and it’s exciting to now look ahead to the second edition.

“The WTC has certainly added more context and brought new meaning to Test cricket and it was awesome to see the interest that was generated around the Final against India.”

“We know trying to defend the title will be a huge challenge, but our focus will be on making sure we prepare as well as we can for the tours ahead and trying to maintain our level of performance.”

India captain Virat Kohli: “It was great to have played the final of the ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand in what was a memorable contest.

“Not just the final, we saw the determination of players throughout the first edition of the championship.

“The following of cricket lovers too was great to see, and I am sure they will all be waiting eagerly for the second edition.

“We will regroup with new energy for the next cycle starting with our series against England, hoping to give our fans a lot to cheer about.

England captain Joe Root: “We start our campaign in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship against the finalists of last time, which is an interesting challenge straight away.

“India are a fine all-round side and it would be good to test them in our home conditions. “We narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final last time and are looking to do better this time.

“Test cricket is a format we all want to excel in and with points at stake for each match, everyone has to be at their best all the time.”

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