World Test Championship 2019-2021

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The ICC Cricket Committee gets together in Mumbai on May 28 and 29 to discuss, among other things, the playing conditions for the World Test Championship. The Championship begins after the 2019 World Cup, with the final is set to be played from June 10, 2021 and the recommended location being England.

upload_2018-5-17_9-14-1.png

Nine Full Member nations will compete for the inaugural World Test Championship ESPNcricinfo Ltd


The potential changes - though not many in number - are significant. For example, the committee, headed by Anil Kumble, will deliberate on whether to do away with the toss, the nature of the points system that will govern the Championship as well as the quality of pitches.

Once the cricket committee finalises its recommendations, the ICC's chief executives' committee will take the discussion further during the annual conference in Dublin in June.

Here are some of the more eye-catching potential changes to the conditions, as revealed in a document obtained by ESPNcricinfo. These were presented during the ICC's quarterly meeting in Kolkata in April.

Day-night Tests

India have said no to playing a day-night Test in Adelaide this year, but in the Test Championship that may no longer be an option. In the new playing conditions, it is at the discretion of the home board to schedule a day-night Test in a series. The document states that "the agreement of the touring team will be required," only if the host side wants to play more than one day-night game in the series. And if a day-night Test is scheduled, then the touring team is entitled to play one day-night warm-up game (of a minimum of two days).

Toss

The ICC's concerns about the quality of pitches in international cricket are reflected in a couple of potential changes. The first - doing away with the toss - is the most radical. More details on that story here.

Unfit pitches

In a sense, this is almost as radical an idea as doing away with the toss. Given the number of pitches ICC officials considered to be poor over the last few years, they want to introduce tangible and severe penalties for sides that create unfit pitches. "If a match is abandoned because the pitch or outfield is too dangerous for play to continue, and the pitch is subsequently rated as UNFIT by the match referee, the match will be considered to have been won by the visiting team when the competition points are allocated for that series."

Points system

The ICC has asked the cricket committee to recommend whether points should be allocated for both match and series results. "It (cricket committee) will also recommend the appropriate weighting of a Draw compared to a Win."

The committee will discuss potential points penalties for poor behaviour by players and slow over rates but the document says these are "unlikely to be recommended".

Five-day Tests

Remember the hoopla about four-day Tests? Not happening in the Test championship. All those Tests, the document makes very clear, will be played over five days. And there will have to be a minimum gap of three days between Tests.

Ball

As is already the case, the choice of ball to be used will remain with the host country during the league phase. For the final the ball will "likely" be the same as that used to play Tests in the country that hosts the summit clash (England).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/23526027/no-choice-play-day-night-tests
 

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so minimum of 2 Tests and maximum of 5 in a series. Interested to see how they work out a points system to account for all that.
It's been stated before that each series holds the same weight, so points per game are worth more in a two-match series than in a five-match one.
 

halalsnackpack

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It's been stated before that each series holds the same weight, so points per game are worth more in a two-match series than in a five-match one.
How would that even work?

My suggestion would be say 5 points for a test win and 2 for a draw/tie, encouraging attacking play.

That would be fine if every team plays an equal amount of tests over the period, which obviously wont happen. Test cricket is built on winning series as far as I'm concerned. That means a possible 25 points for a 5 test series but 10 for a two game series.

You have to reward both games won and series won. If you go off my suggestion of 5 for a win and 2 for a draw there is no equitable way to reward series wins in a 2 test series vs a 5 test series unless you heavily weight the 'series win' bonus towards shorter series which makes no sense.
 
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How would that even work?

My suggestion would be say 5 points for a test win and 2 for a draw/tie, encouraging attacking play.

That would be fine if every team plays an equal amount of tests over the period, which obviously wont happen. Test cricket is built on winning series as far as I'm concerned. That means a possible 25 points for a 5 test series but 10 for a two game series.

You have to reward both games won and series won. If you go off my suggestion of 5 for a win and 2 for a draw there is no equitable way to reward series wins in a 2 test series vs a 5 test series unless you heavily weight the 'series win' bonus towards shorter series which makes no sense.
While you're not wrong, the reason for it is basically due to time+money restraints for not-so-big nations. There is no point in a nine-team Test championship if only some of them have the resources to play five-match series and give themselves a greater chance of winning the championship.

Of course, this is due to the obstinate refusal of certain boards to give bilateral money+power over to the toothless ICC, but that's how it is.
 

halalsnackpack

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How would that even work?

My suggestion would be say 5 points for a test win and 2 for a draw/tie, encouraging attacking play.

That would be fine if every team plays an equal amount of tests over the period, which obviously wont happen. Test cricket is built on winning series as far as I'm concerned. That means a possible 25 points for a 5 test series but 10 for a two game series.

You have to reward both games won and series won. If you go off my suggestion of 5 for a win and 2 for a draw there is no equitable way to reward series wins in a 2 test series vs a 5 test series unless you heavily weight the 'series win' bonus towards shorter series which makes no sense.
For example;

5 points for a win
2 for a draw/tie
10 point bonus for a series win (5 each if series drawn)

2 game series: 2-0, win series: 5+5+10= 20pts
3 game series: 3-0, win series 5+5+5+10= 25pts
4 game series: 4-0, win series 5+5+5+5+10= 35pts
And so forth. England/Aus/India would win every time purely by playing way more tests than anyone else.

Or you can allocate the same points for each series, however this devalues tests in longer series and over-values shorter series.

Let's say 60 points per series:

2 game series - 20 points for a win, 20 for a series win.
3 games - 15 for a win, 15 for series win.
4 games - 12 for a win, 12 for a series.
5 games - 10 for a win, 10 for a series

Either all tests are equal or all series are equal, can't have both. Neither of those options fit the cricket philosophy imo.
 

halalsnackpack

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While you're not wrong, the reason for it is basically due to time+money restraints for not-so-big nations. There is no point in a nine-team Test championship if only some of them have the resources to play five-match series and give themselves a greater chance of winning the championship.

Of course, this is due to the obstinate refusal of certain boards to give bilateral money+power over to the toothless ICC, but that's how it is.
I get the philosophy behind it but they will have to do something beyond me to value all series and matches equally and make it a fair competition
 

Bwillow11

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The ICC Cricket Committee gets together in Mumbai on May 28 and 29 to discuss, among other things, the playing conditions for the World Test Championship. The Championship begins after the 2019 World Cup, with the final is set to be played from June 10, 2021 and the recommended location being England.

View attachment 498556
Nine Full Member nations will compete for the inaugural World Test Championship ESPNcricinfo Ltd


The potential changes - though not many in number - are significant. For example, the committee, headed by Anil Kumble, will deliberate on whether to do away with the toss, the nature of the points system that will govern the Championship as well as the quality of pitches.

Once the cricket committee finalises its recommendations, the ICC's chief executives' committee will take the discussion further during the annual conference in Dublin in June.

Here are some of the more eye-catching potential changes to the conditions, as revealed in a document obtained by ESPNcricinfo. These were presented during the ICC's quarterly meeting in Kolkata in April.

Day-night Tests

India have said no to playing a day-night Test in Adelaide this year, but in the Test Championship that may no longer be an option. In the new playing conditions, it is at the discretion of the home board to schedule a day-night Test in a series. The document states that "the agreement of the touring team will be required," only if the host side wants to play more than one day-night game in the series. And if a day-night Test is scheduled, then the touring team is entitled to play one day-night warm-up game (of a minimum of two days).

Toss

The ICC's concerns about the quality of pitches in international cricket are reflected in a couple of potential changes. The first - doing away with the toss - is the most radical. More details on that story here.

Unfit pitches

In a sense, this is almost as radical an idea as doing away with the toss. Given the number of pitches ICC officials considered to be poor over the last few years, they want to introduce tangible and severe penalties for sides that create unfit pitches. "If a match is abandoned because the pitch or outfield is too dangerous for play to continue, and the pitch is subsequently rated as UNFIT by the match referee, the match will be considered to have been won by the visiting team when the competition points are allocated for that series."

Points system

The ICC has asked the cricket committee to recommend whether points should be allocated for both match and series results. "It (cricket committee) will also recommend the appropriate weighting of a Draw compared to a Win."

The committee will discuss potential points penalties for poor behaviour by players and slow over rates but the document says these are "unlikely to be recommended".

Five-day Tests

Remember the hoopla about four-day Tests? Not happening in the Test championship. All those Tests, the document makes very clear, will be played over five days. And there will have to be a minimum gap of three days between Tests.

Ball

As is already the case, the choice of ball to be used will remain with the host country during the league phase. For the final the ball will "likely" be the same as that used to play Tests in the country that hosts the summit clash (England).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/23526027/no-choice-play-day-night-tests
Final cannot be a draw, it should be timeless or something to make it worthwhile. Its a little ridiculous that Ireland and Afghanistan will be test teams for a year but after that they will be just as irrelevant as before.

The Points system has to make each series equal, maybe for 12 total points each.

eg. 2 match series worth 6 points each match
4 matches- 3 points each
5 matches - 2.4 each
 

Starburns_

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Final cannot be a draw, it should be timeless or something to make it worthwhile. Its a little ridiculous that Ireland and Afghanistan will be test teams for a year but after that they will be just as irrelevant as before.
Actually, the limitations on how many series you can play against other Test Championship teams opens the door for them to play more tests against sides like Australia and England, who will see their number of Tests played drop under this new arrangement.

Ireland as a warm-up for touring England (like Pakistan did) and Afghanistan before playing Pakistan in the UAE could still prove valuable too.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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I still think its pretty much useless without all Test nations involved, but Ireland and Afghanistan probably wouldn't have been granted status if they had to be included. The single match final also irks. I can understand it, given that a host is named well in advance and a five Test Sri Lanka v New Zealand series would not draw crowds in most nations should they make the final.
I'm no fan of the setup, but it may be the best that can be done within the constraints of the ICC having no power.

The points system I had about 20 years ago was 9 points for a series win, 1 point for each match in the winning margin (so a 1-0 win becomes ten points); 5 points for a drawn series. That would have had to be played over much longer than two years - and was in part designed to try and encourage all teams to play each other by having points expire after five years. I no longer think that was good enough, but it was at least simple.
That is one thing I like about the Championship. If all series have equal weight then the pints system can be easily understood - unlike the rankings which try and weight results according to opposition strength and are too complex mathematically for the average fan. Whether the likes of Cricket Australia will deem the points worth playing Bangladesh is another question, or will they just forfeit.
 
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A positive and necessary initiative. There will no doubt be vagaries & inconsistencies in it's implementation and also not sure if a single final can work as the culmination - but being brave enough to bring it in is unquestionably the right thing to do for the sport IMO.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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A positive and necessary initiative. There will no doubt be vagaries & inconsistencies in it's implementation and also not sure if a single final can work as the culmination - but being brave enough to bring it in is unquestionably the right thing to do for the sport IMO.
I still think it should have been done better, and two tiers of Test cricket is utterly wrong. Its the pinnacle of the game, all should be treated equally once eligible. But, its a start, and hopefully will be revisited and improved.
 

cricketnut14

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so only 6 test series for each nation in this championship (all of varying number of tests? )

no perfect solution, but surely everyone should be playing everyone.
 

corbies

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so only 6 test series for each nation in this championship (all of varying number of tests? )

no perfect solution, but surely everyone should be playing everyone.
I suppose its no different to the NFL or NRL or AFL where not everyone plays everyone an even amount of times. Its not ideal but its hard when each board that makes up the ICC is just trying to make as much money as possible from tours for themselves.
 

iluvparis

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I suppose its no different to the NFL or NRL or AFL where not everyone plays everyone an even amount of times. Its not ideal but its hard when each board that makes up the ICC is just trying to make as much money as possible from tours for themselves.
Yup but the NFL doesn't automatically let the top 2 regular season records play off in the superbowl.
 
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Perhaps at some point it will move to a two-group (as opposed to two-tier) model, with the top team in each group playing the final. Alas, with the suspension of Zimbabwe and Ireland/Afghanistan having played so few matches, that may be some time away.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Perhaps at some point it will move to a two-group (as opposed to two-tier) model, with the top team in each group playing the final. Alas, with the suspension of Zimbabwe and Ireland/Afghanistan having played so few matches, that may be some time away.
Points could count for longer, with a rolling fixture. A final could be held every two years with point accumulated over five or six. Within that timeframe the points could from everyone playing each other, but allow a champion to be crowned more often.
Not that the ICC want to be inclusive in any way shape or form.
 

big_e

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Perhaps at some point it will move to a two-group (as opposed to two-tier) model, with the top team in each group playing the final. Alas, with the suspension of Zimbabwe and Ireland/Afghanistan having played so few matches, that may be some time away.
Two seven-team divisions, two up and two down each cycle. Pretty much guarantees the big three won't ever have to bother with those pesky minnows again.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Two seven-team divisions, two up and two down each cycle. Pretty much guarantees the big three won't ever have to bother with those pesky minnows again.
With the Intercontinental Cup seemingly no more and the ICC seemingly in a hurry to bury smaller nations, teams 13 and 14 won't be happening any time soon. Probably not for decades, if ever. More likely will be a reversal of the Ireland decision, the end of Zimbabwe and the dissolution of West Indies into constituent nations with a T20 focus.
 
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We'll see, but I don't think India would want that. Especially not that.
I don't think they'll really care. If Scotland can be at least as compelling as Ireland, which their current direction suggests they can actually do even better than, I don't see why they'd block it.

The nation they'd really want to see, of course, is Nepal, but their board has been suspended for years now so getting further than where they are at the moment would be a stretch.
 
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