It was announced by International Cricket Council on 29th July 2019 that it has officially launched the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC). In this article, we will tell our readers about everything they need to know about the ICC World Test Championship.
It started on 1 August 2019 with Top 9 Test teams part of it. In a span of two years, 71 Test matches across 27 series will be played between Pakistan, Australia, England, New Zealand, Bangladesh, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies.
Then in June 2021, the top two teams will contest the ICC World Test Championship Final. It will be played in the UK, and the winner will be declared ICC World Test Champions.
Leading cricketers and those associated with cricket have shared their thoughts on this development.
ICC General Manager – Cricket Operations Geoff Allardice said, “The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this summer showed just how important it is for every game to count and for the world’s best teams to go head-to-head. The World Test Championship will bring relevance and context to bilateral Test cricket over the next two years, creating a pinnacle event for the five-day format, just as the World Cups for men and women do in the ODI and T20I formats.”
England’s leading test wicket-taker, James Anderson said, “Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport. It is the very essence of cricket and the majority of players want to strive to play the purest form of the game. The ICC World Test Championship is another brilliant initiative for the sport, adding context and relevance to every Test series. Every Test matters, but even more so now.”
Indian captain Virat Kohli said, “We are awaiting the ICC World Test Championship with great enthusiasm as it adds context to the longest format of the game. Test cricket is very challenging and coming out on top in the traditional form is always highly satisfying. The Indian team has done really well in recent years and will be fancying its chances in the championship.”
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.”
Each team will play three home and three away from home series. There are 120 points of each series. The matches will be organized by Member Boards and will be played like a bilateral test series but it will be in the context and competition of becoming the number one Test team in the world.