ICC’s acting CEO Geoff Allardice has announced that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will continue to use the ‘percentage of points won’ system for the World Test Championship cycle till 2023. The system was introduced mid-way through the first cycle of WTC after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The inaugural edition of the World Test Championship had it all - thrills, lows and a high level of controversy - that surrounded the changing rules of the competition. During the start of the Test Championship cycle, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had promised that the two finalists would be decided on the basis of points.
However, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which changed the schedule of the tours and events, the ICC had to come up with another system, ‘percentage of points won’ mid-way in the competition to make up for the lost tours. While India and New Zealand qualified for the final of the event, several countries including Australia and England were left disappointed with the rule change.
ICC’s acting CEO Geoff Allardice announced that the ICC would not be reverting back to the points system and instead will continue with the current system, where the percentage of points would be calculated.
"I think we are going to stick with the percentage of points - one method to rank a team. 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 played," he said
"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, and if they actually won. And that percentage served us well in the second half of the championship. That is part of the changes.
Allardice also commented that the percentage of points system can help to have a standardised number of points per Test match, regardless of it being a two-match Test series or a five-match Test series.
"The other thing is, if we are using the percentage of points one, we can put a standardised number of points per Test match, so it doesn't matter whether it's a two-Test series or a five-Test series; the same number of points will be available for each match that's played, but every team will be judged on the percentage of those points that it wins and not on the total."
The acting CEO was of the same opinion as to the Indian head coach Ravi Shastri, stating that in an ideal world, a three-match World Test Championship final would have been perfect. However, looking at the tight scheduling in international cricket, Allardice backed the one-off final to come as success.
"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 the one-match final was decided upon. Why it is quite exciting is because it brings something new. Here we are - we've got a one-off Test match to decide the best team in the world overthis two-year cycle."