ICC World Test Championship to undergo change in points system from 2021-23 season?
The current cycle of the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship comes to an end this month, with India and New Zealand locking horns in the final. Meanwhile, come 2021-23 season, the tournament would see a change in its points system. Check out.
The International Cricket Council has finally recognised the longest format of the game with a global tournament. Similarly, the ICC World Test Championship began in 2019 for a two-year cycle, as the opening season comes to an end, with India and New Zealand facing off in the 2019-21 final at the Rose Bowl in Southampton from June 18.
The tournament format was that each side played six series, with specific 120 points up for grab in each series. However, following the COVID-19 pandemic since last year, leading to numerous series cancellation, the ICC decided to introduce the point percentage system to determine the qualifiers for the final.
As of now, the current point percentage system has been well-received by all the nations. Consequently, the ICC is thinking of making the same system permanent, as acting ICC CEO Geoff Allardice has revealed the same.
"We are going to stick with the percentage-of-points-won method to rank teams. When we looked at the first 12 months of the competition, you had teams on a number of points, but it was all relative to how many series they had played. So, one of the ways to compare teams on an ongoing basis is what proportion of the points that have been available in the matches they played have been actually won. And, that percentage served us well in the second half of the Championship," he said during a media interaction, reports ESPNCricinfo.
"As it turned out, it was a fair system. New Zealand didn't play one series as a result of the Covid disruption last year, but they've still been able to qualify for the final through the strength of their performances in other series. So, we prefer not to have changed the points system in the middle of a tournament, but due to the circumstances of Covid and the need to ensure that the best two teams got to the final, we thought it was necessary that it was approved at the end of last year," he added.
Speaking about the suggested best-of-three final by Indian head coach Ravi Shastri, although Allardice applauded the suggestion, he stated that it was practically impossible to implement it. "In a perfect world, a three-Test series would be a great way to decide the World Test Championship. But, the reality (of) the international cricket schedule is we are just not going to have [a situation where] blocking out a month or so for all the teams in the tournament for the final is realistic. That's why one-match final was decided upon," he reckoned.
Debating on whether having a draw as a result and sharing the honour is justified, Allardice stated, "One of the idiosyncrasies of Test cricket is that the draw is a result. And, if after those five days the result is a draw, then the view was that the fitting result is that the Championship is shared. Whether we like it or not, a draw is certainly a valid result in Test cricket."
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