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ICC World Test Championship FAQs

What is the ICC World Test Championship?

The World Test Championship gets underway on 1 August 2019 and comprises nine teams competing in 71 Test matches in 27 series across two years. Comprising the top nine Test teams in the world, each team will play three home and three away series. The top two teams at the end will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final in the UK in June 2021 with the winners crowned World Test Champions.

What is the purpose of starting the WTC?

The WTC has been introduced to bring context to bilateral Test cricket. Every game will count as the world’s best teams go head to head. Points will be available for every single game. The WTC honours the importance of the longest format of the game and ensures a pinnacle event for the format just as the World Cups for men and women in the ODI and T20I formats.

How were the teams for the WTC decided?

The top nine ranked teams on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings as on 31 March 2018 qualified for the WTC. Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are the teams competing in the WTC.

When and where will the WTC be played?

The WTC will be played over two years across different continents starting from August 2019. The matches will be played just like any bilateral series but with the added context of a competition and one champion team. The nine teams will figure in 27 series with the champions decided after 71 Test matches. The final will be played in June 2021.

What is the league format of the WTC?

Each of the nine teams in the WTC will play six of the eight possible opponents, with three series at home and three series away. The number of matches in each series can vary between a minimum of two matches to a maximum of five matches, with the number of matches played in each series being agreed by the two competing teams prior to the start of the competition.

Will all matches of the WTC be played over five days and do these include day-night matches?

The first cycle of the WTC will consist only of Test matches scheduled over five-days, and can include day/night matches if mutually agreed between the competing teams.

How does the points system work?

Each team plays six series, with a total of 120 points available from each series. These points will be evenly allocated across the number of matches in each series. For example, a two-match series will mean 60 points for a win in each Test, while a three-match series will award 40 points to the winner of each Test match. A tie will be allocated 50% of the points for a win, whilst a draw will be allocated a third of the win points. In November 2020, the ICC amended the WTC points system due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For more details click here.

Distribution of points in ICC World Test Championship 

Matches in series Points for a win Points for a tie Points for a draw Points for a defeat
2 60 30 20 0
3 40 20 13 0
4 30 15 10 0
5 24 12 8 0

Is the ICC organizing the WTC?

The ICC has worked with Members to bring context to bilateral cricket by optimizing the Future Tours Programme (FTP). The Member Boards are responsible for all organizational matters including venues, broadcast, ticketing, etc. The ICC is responsible for the competition terms and the conduct of cricket by way of providing match officials and ensuring matches are played as per the laws of the game. The ICC is also responsible for delivery of the ICC World Test Championship final.

Is this a one-off cycle?

No. The plans are to have two-year cycles starting with the first one from 1 August 2019 to 30 April 2021. The second one is scheduled from June 2021 to 30 April 2023.

Are all Test matches part of the WTC?

No. Only the matches identified as part of the WTC will count towards the championship. Any matches featuring the Test teams outside the top nine - Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe - will not be part of the Test Championship.

What about the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings?

The rankings will continue with all 12 teams on the table. The points table of the WTC will be independent of the team rankings.

Who has the broadcast rights for WTC?

The broadcast rights are with Member Boards and revenues shared as per their respective agreements. However, the rights for the WTC final in June 2021 rest with the ICC.