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The International Cricket Council (ICC) organises the ICC World Test Championship (WTC). It was introduced in 2019 to determine the greatest Test cricket team in the world during a two-year cycle. The event involves the top nine Test-playing nations participating in bilateral series, with points granted for victories, draws, and ties. The WTC cycle culminates in a final match between the top two teams at a neutral location. The WTC provides a stage for fierce rivalries, dramatic matches, and the enduring heritage of Test cricket, the longest version of the game. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper regarding the ICC WTC, its structure, notable moments, and how it affects cricket.
ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Beginning
The ICC originally suggested the World Test Championship concept in 2009; however, the competition was not formally confirmed until 2018. The inaugural edition of the ICC WTC began on August 1, 2019, and finished in June 2021. Over a two-year cycle, the World Test Championship seeks to crown the finest Test cricket team in the world. The top nine rated Test teams in the world, according to the ICC rankings, competes in a series of bilateral Test matches. Each team competes in six series, three at home and three away, earning points for their performance in each series.
The Importance of WTC
Test cricket, the oldest and longest format of the game, received an additional context and excitement, thanks to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Test Championship (WTC). The WTC, which was created by the ICC, offers a structured competition amongst the top nine nations that participate in Test cricket over a two-year cycle, concluding with a championship match to decide the winning team. ICC WTC was created to answer the demand for increased purpose and relevance in Test cricket, which has struggled to draw spectators and preserve its standing in the era of shorter forms such as One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). The ICC wanted to resurrect the ancient form of the game by creating a championship-style competition, emphasizing the talents and stamina of the competing teams.
ICC World Test Championship (WTC): Teams
The ICC WTC format is intended to provide a balanced and competitive environment. Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies participate in a tournament, playing bilateral series against each other. Each series consists of a certain number of test matches, usually two to five, and is assigned a point value. Teams gain points based on the outcomes of these matches, with wins, draws, and defeats all contributing to their total.
Teams Engage in ICC World Test Championship (WTC)
|5. New Zealand
|7. Sri Lanka
|8. South Africa
|9. West Indies
ICC World Test Championship (WTC): Format & Points system
Each Test carry a total of 12 points, with a win fetching all 12 points, four for a draw, and six for a tie, regardless of the length of the series. Consequently, there will be 60 points available for five-Test series and 24 points available for two-Test series. The standings will be determined by the percentage of available points gathered. This approach compares the relative performance of teams at any moment in time, which means that the cancellation of any match or series for whatever reason has no direct influence on the points table. It will help even out the disparity in the number of matches played by teams.
The Impact of World Test Championship (WTC)
Players now have an extra incentive to play regularly, knowing that their efforts might help their side qualify for the final. Furthermore, the tournament gives a platform for young players to exhibit their abilities and build a name for themselves in the game’s longest format. From a spectator’s standpoint, the ICC WTC has given Test cricket fresh vitality. The tournament structure, with its points system and final match, has sparked interest and expectation among fans all around the world. It has established a narrative around Test cricket, allowing fans to get more involved with the game and its historical significance.
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ICC World Test Championship (WTC): Recent Winner
The first ICC WTC final was held in June 2021 at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton, England, between India and New Zealand. The match drew a lot of attention and demonstrated the competitive spirit and quality of Test cricket. New Zealand triumphed, capturing the trophy, and cementing their place in history as the first-ever ICC WTC champions.
ICC World Test Championship (WTC): Prize Money
Beyond fame and honour, the winners of the ICC World Test Championship Final will get generous cash reward. The victorious team in the ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final will receive an impressive prize of $1.6 million, while the second-place team will earn $800,000.