Way back in 1877, 19th March the first officially recognized test match was played between England and Australia. Since then test cricket has been considered as the most prominent format of the game. It took around 142 years for organizing a marquee event for the longest format of the game. It's a good move by ICC to introduce the world cup for test cricket as this will surely promote the longest format deemed pretty dull by the majority of the audience. In the era of T20 and T10, this is a great initiative by ICC, making sure that all the 3 formats of the game have a world event to be won by contesting nations.
The world test championship was originally proposed in 2009 wherein ICC and MCC arranged a meeting to discuss the proposed championship. Martin Crowe was the man behind this proposal who, in 2010 ICC considered the idea of world test championship, approved the plan and decided that it would be held in 2013 in England and Wales. It was also decided that the final of this championship will be played at Lords, England which is considered to be the home of cricket. ICC then announced the format of the championship. It was decided that a league stage format would be played over a period of 4 years between the top ten nations (India, Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, and Zimbabwe) participating.
After the league stage, the top 4 teams will qualify for the next round which was decided to be playoffs and final leading to the world test champion. It was decided that WTC would replace ICC champions trophy due to financial problems and sponsors cancelling the deals. In 2011 ICC announced that world test championship would not take place until 2017 so it was replaced by champions trophy. As England and Wales were the original hosts of WTC they, therefore, became the first choice for hosting ICC champions trophy. In 2012 ICC confirmed that ICC champions trophy 2013 would be it's last edition and further added that there will be only one trophy for each format. It was decided that the top 4 teams in test rankings as on 31st December 2016 would automatically qualify for the test championship. In 2014, the 2017 world test championship was cancelled once again and the 2017 ICC champions trophy was reinstalled. Finally, in 2018 it was decided that the world test championship would be played from 1st August 2019.
Rules ahead of WTC
ICC introduced a new set of rules for the world test championship, which are as follows:
1)To make the game more appealing to the younger generation, ICC will be applying both numbers and names to kit from the beginning of the world test championship.
2) After taking a catch, the fielding team will be permitted to complete a 'Double Wicket Play' .
3) If the temperature reaches 35°C, the ICC's updated playing conditions will allow all Test players the option to wear shorts.
How will championship work?
The Top 9 test nations will be part of the championship and each team plays 6 series, 3 at home and 3 away during a period of 2 years. Each series will consist of 2-5 matches. The tournament would not be a round-robin format as each team would face only 6 of the 8 teams.
Points on line would be the same for every series i.e 120, it will not depend on no. of matches as a series could be anywhere between 2-5 test matches. If it's a two-match series, if a team wins the first test, the team will be awarded 60 points. If it's a three-match series, a win will be worth 40 points. If it's a four-match series, a win will be worth 30 points. If it's a five-match series, a win will be worth 24 points. Further, a draw will be worth 20 points and for a tie 30 points and 0 for a defeat.
The points system is further explained in the table below.
How will be the winner of the World Test Championship decided?
The two teams at the end of the 2-year cycle will clash in a 5 day final to be crowned as champions.
1st Ashes test was the inaugural game of the 2019-21 world test championship.
Captain will not be suspended for slow over-rate and all the players would be held equally responsible. 2 points will be deducted for each over of the team which is behind at end of the game.
1) It should be mandatory for every team to play against each other which is not happening in this championship.
2) No. of test matches in a series should be consistent for all test series in the championship. While England is playing 22 test matches, on the other hand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are playing 13 matches.
3) 2 years cycle makes the championship dull.