The upcoming India-England series along with the Ashes beginning later this year are the only five-match Test series in the second edition of WTC which is otherwise overshadowed by the two-match Test series.
World Test Championship 2021-23
According to the reports, India will play New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Australia at home and travel to England, South Africa and Bangladesh in the second edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) series which begins with India playing a five-match series in England starting on August 4.
Like how it started previously, WTC 2 will also start from this August and will continue for nearly two years with the final taking place in June 2023, the venue, however, is yet to be finalised, said a report.
Surprisingly, the upcoming India-England series and the Ashes later this year are the only five-match Test series in the second edition of WTC which is otherwise overshadowed by the two-match Test series.
“Australia’s coming to India in 2022, is the only four-Test series in WTC 2. With this, there are seven three-Test series and 13 series comprising two Tests,” the report continues.
Any changes in the WTC cycle?
The most debated topic amongst cricket fans was the point system (period). This complicated system of awarding 120 points per series irrespective of the number of matches included in it formed a lot of confusion. In the next cycle, the ICC has decided to end the 60 (in 2 match series), 40 (in 3 match series), 30 (in 4 match series) and 24 (in 5 match series) points for a victory in a Test.
Considering changes, in WTC 2, teams conquering a Test match will be given 12 points irrespective of the number of Test matches involved in the series. A draw, however, will allow 4 points each while a tied Test match will give 6 points to both teams.
How will the points table consider?
Coming to the standings, this will be decided by the percentage of points (POP) system. This rule was brought in by the ICC after the pandemic postponed a few series in the previous WTC cycle, creating a difference in the points system.
But there is a minor change in this as well. In the previous cycle, the POP was determined keeping the number of series as the base. For example, if a team played 5 series in WTC instead of the scheduled 6, then the highest point it could get was 600 (120 points per series win). Suppose that team earned 450 points then its POP would be 75 as it achieved 75% of the total available points.
In the latest system, the POP will be calculated with the number of matches played as the base. England is slated to feature in 21 Tests – the most – in WTC 2, which means they can earn 252 points if they win all. If they don’t, their POP will be calculated on the percentage of 252.
ICC’s interim chief executive officer Geoff Allardice had developed on the change in the points system between the two cycles of the WTC.
What has unchanged?
The number of series per team for the nine Test-playing nations will remain to be six. The series will be played according to the Future Tour Programmes (FTP) of ICC locked for the 2019-2023 cycle.
Who will play most games?
According to the report, just like the previous WTC cycle, England is scheduled to play the most number of matches in WTC 2 followed by India who will play 19 Tests, Australia (18) and South Africa (15). Bangladesh 12 Tests – which is the least – in WTC 2. Current champions, New Zealand, will be only 13 while along with West Indies and Sri Lanka while Pakistan is scheduled to play 14 Tests.