The ICC has released the schedule for the 2021-23 World Test Championship cycle that will commence next month, and has confirmed that India will be playing England, South Africa and Bangladesh away. The council has also changed the points system, with each Test now accounting for 12 points.
Team India have been handed a tough schedule for the 2021-23 World Test Championship cycle as the Virat Kohli-led side will face all four SENA countries in the forthcoming cycle. India will kick-start their 2021-23 WTC cycle with a five-Test series against England next month (away), but the inaugural edition’s finalists will also be playing all three of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. While India will be playing South Africa away from home, they will be taking on the two trans-Tasman teams (Australia and New Zealand) in their own backyard. Apart from the four SENA teams, India will be playing Sri Lanka and Bangladesh home and away respectively.
“It was great to have played the final of the ICC World Test Championship 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,” skipper Virat Kohli said in an official ICC release.
“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.”
The second edition will be different in one way from the first, though, as there will be a revised points system. Instead of points being awarded for series, the 2021-23 cycle will see each match carry points - 12 for a win, four for a draw and six for a tie. The points system in the inaugural edition saw the same number of points being allocated to each series, divided across the number of matches played. Many considered this system flawed, and hence, on the wake of the same, the ICC has decided to ring-in changes.
“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. It maintained the principle of ensuring that all matches in a WTC series count towards a team’s standing, while accommodating series varying in length between two Tests and five Tests,” ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said.
“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. This helped us determine the finalists and we were able to complete the championship within the scheduled time frame. This method also allowed us to compare the relative performance of teams at any time, regardless of how many matches they had played.”
WTC 2021-23 cycle fixtures