What is the format of the ICC World Test Championship 2?
The format of the second edition is the same as last time. It comprises the top nine Test teams, all of whom will play six series each – three at home and three away. The top two teams will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final, the venue and dates of which will be announced later. However, the points system is different.
How is the points system different this time?
Rather than each series being worth the same number of points like in the first edition, each match is worth the same number of points this time. A team gets 12 points for winning a match, four for a draw and six for a tie.
Why the change in points system?
This has been done to simplify the points system by awarding the same number of points for a Test win, regardless of series length. The first edition saw each series carry 120 points, which were divided according to the number of matches, so a Test match could be worth only 24 points (for a five-match series) to 60 points (for a two-match series). This meant that it was easier to win full points in shorter series than in longer ones. We are trying to address that issue by trying this new system.
Will teams qualify according to total points won or percentage points?
Teams will qualify on a percentage of points won basis to standardise the imbalance in the number of matches played by teams. The first edition of the WTC started on a total points system basis but once it was clear that all series could not be completed as planned owing to the COVID-19 disruption, it was changed to a percentage points system. This helped complete the first cycle within the competition window.
What are the advantages of a percentage points system?
This system enables the relative performance of teams to be compared at any point in time. So, the cancellation of any matches or series for any reason does not directly impact the points table.
What about teams getting docked for slow over-rates?
Teams will lose one championship point for each over short.
What about Test matches outside of the WTC 2?
Test matches can be played outside of the championship. These will include Tests featuring teams not in WTC 2 as well as series which may be played between teams featuring in the championship but not as identified as part of WTC 2.
What about four-day Tests and day-night matches?
As in the first edition, day-night matches can be included by participating teams by mutual agreement. There will be no four-day Test matches scheduled as part of the championship.
The first WTC Final had the provision of one Reserve Day. Is that being increased?
As of now, there are no plans to schedule any additional Reserve Days. The idea behind having a Reserve Day is to make up for any loss of playing time during the five scheduled days, not to keep playing until one side wins.
Does anything change about bilateral Tests or broadcast rights?
The WTC 2 is again based on the bilateral arrangement between Members. The Host Boards are responsible for all organisational matters and the ICC is responsible only for overseeing the competition by way of providing match officials and ensuring matches are played as per the WTC playing conditions and competition terms. The ICC is however, responsible for delivering the final. The broadcast rights remain with Members except for the final, which is with the ICC.
What about future WTC cycles?
The plans are to continue holding the World Test Championship every two years over the next eight-year cycle – 2023-25, 2025-27, 2027-29 and 2029-2031.