International Cricket Council [ICC] has confirmed the points system for the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship [WTC] (2021-23) as well as the fixtures that will take place during the two-year cycle, commencing August 04 with India playing against hosts England in a 5 Test affair.
Just like the previous cycle, the upcoming two-year phase will see nine International Cricket Council Full-member teams play a total of six Test series- three at home and three away- of varying lengths with the cut-off date being March 31. 2023.
International Cricket Council Allots The Same Number Of Points For Every Test
However, unlike the previous WTC cycle where the maximum points for every series regardless of its length were fixed- 120, this time, the International Cricket Council has decided to allow the same number of points for every Test. As per the updated system, each Test match will now carry a weightage of 12 points while a drawn and tied Test will fetch 4 and 6 points respectively.
However, the standing in the points table, just like the inaugural cycle, will be determined on percentage points accumulated.
The second WTC cycle will commence from August 04 when the runners-up of the inaugural cycle, India, locks horns with Joe Root’s England in the first Test of a five-match series. New Zealand is, of course, the defending champions, having beaten India in the inaugural final last month.
Meanwhile, International Cricket Council Acting CEO George Allardice has said that the changes have been made in order to simplify the points system besides taking learnings from the Covid-forced disruptions 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.
“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. ” International Cricket Council Acting CEO George Allardice said.
The cycle that runs from August 2021 to June 2023 will see just two series of five matches – the upcoming England and India Tests and the Ashes in December this year. Australia’s tour of India in 2022 will be the only series of the cycle to have four Tests. Overall, there will be seven three-match Test series and 13 two-match Test series.
Skippers Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, And Joe Root Opens Up On Previous WTC And Next One
The winning captain of the inaugural WTC, Kane Williamson, said that it was pretty special to win the coveted price last month and he is already looking forward to defending the title over the course of the next two years.
“It was obviously pretty special to win the inaugural WTC 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.”Kane said.
Meanwhile, Indian captain Virat Kohli said that the inaugural WTC captured the imagination of fans around the world and it was a great feeling for him and his team to play the first-ever final of the championship. He said that the team is looking forward to regrouping after a disappointing end when they lock horns with England.
“It was great to have played the final of the WTC 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,” he said.
Joe Root, on the other hand, expressed his disappointment at the fact that England barely missed out on qualification last year. He, however, added that playing against the finalists of the last edition in India in their first WTC-2 assignment will be a great chance for them to test themselves against a quality side.
“We start our campaign against the finalists of last time, which is an interesting challenge straight away. India is 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,”he said.
India plays England(away), New Zealand(home), South Africa (away), Sri Lanka(home), Australia(home), and Bangladesh(away) in the International Cricket Council’s World Test Championship’s 2nd edition.