While the dust is yet to fully settle on the 2019 ICC World Cup in England, attention shifts to the inaugural World Test Championship which officially begins on August 1.
Created to provide context to the five-day format, the inaugural Championship will see the coronation of the top Test side in the world after the completion of a two-year cycle which ends on July, 2021.
The Test Championship is all set to start with a bang with arch-rivals England and Australia battling it out in the first Ashes Test at Birmingham beginning on August 1.
HOW THE TEST CHAMPIONSHIP WORKS
The inaugural World Test Championship will see the nine top-ranked sides play six series apiece over a two-year cycle. Each side will play three series on home soil and three away from home with the ICC mandating that ever series should comprise of at least two Tests with a maximum of five games.
Each series will have 120 points on offer for the contesting sides and the two sides with the maximum points at the end of July, 2019 will contest the World Test Championship final at Lord’s, England.
Should the final at Lord’s end in a draw or a tie, the team which finished ahead on points in the two-year cycle shall be awarded the World Test Championship.
Apart from matches in the official World Test Championship, teams are free to play Test matches which will not contribute towards their points tally. For example, teams can schedule Tests with sides such as Ireland and Afghanistan but they will not be a part of the Test Championship.
Each series which is a part of the Test Championship will have 120 points on offer irrespective of its length. Hence, a team will have a total of 720 points on offer over the course of the two-year cycle.
The points on offer will be the same for all series in the cycle and will not depend on whether it is a home game or an away one.
WHO PLAYS WHO
Home series: South Africa, Bangladesh and England
Away series: West Indies, New Zealand and Australia
Total Tests: 18 (10 home and eight away)
Home series: India, West Indies and Pakistan
Away series: Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh
Total Tests: 14 (seven home and seven away)
Home series: England, Sri Lanka and Australia
Away series: India, West Indies and Pakistan
Total Tests: 16 (nine home and seven away)
Home series: Australia, West Indies and Pakistan
Away series: South Africa, Sri Lanka and India
Total Tests: 22 (11 home and 11 away)
Home series: Pakistan, New Zealand and India
Away series: England, Bangladesh and South Africa
Total Tests: 19 (nine home and 10 away)
Home series: New Zealand, England and Bangladesh
Away series: Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies
Total Tests: 13 (Seven home and six away)
Home series: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Africa
Away series: Australia, England and New Zealand
Total Tests: 13 (six home and seven away)
Home series: India, South Africa and Sri Lanka
Away series: England, New Zealand and Bangladesh
Total Tests: 15 (six home and nine away)
Home series: Australia, New Zealand and West Indies
Away series: India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Total Tests: 14 (Seven home and seven away)
Australia’s Ashes hopefuls are drawing inspiration from Steve Waugh who has been appointed as the team’s mentor for the upcoming series against arch-rivals England.
Waugh was the last Australia skipper to clinch an Ashes series win on English soil with his men triumphing by 4-1 in 2001. The former Australia skipper has now been appointed as the mentor for Tim Paine and his men who begin their defence of the Ashes trophy on August 1 at Birmingham.
One of the men to be inspired by Waugh’s presence in the Australia camp is Alex Carey who had a brilliant individual campaign in the 2019 World Cup.
“Having Steve (Waugh) here is amazing for the group,” Carey was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“He’s won (eight) Ashes series and played a lot here, so to have the knowledge of Steve Waugh – one of the greatest Australian cricketers – is something we’re really lucky to have.
“As soon as you see an Australian great you want to impress them. Obviously Ricky’s (Ponting) one, and JL (Langer) was another coming into this group and now we’ve got Steve.”
Carey turned out to be a revelation in the 2019 World Cup for Australia with the wicketkeeper batsman registering 375 runs while affecting 20 dismissals in his 10 appearances. The Aussie is now hoping to pick Waugh’s ears as he prepares to transition to red-ball cricket.
“Personally, I just had a quick chat just getting to know Steve. It’s quite early and he’ll mentor us and have his spin on things. It’s just great knowledge to have,” he said.
“Steve’s been watching the one-day stuff and commentating a bit there. I’ve had a few little chats with him, but more moving now into the red ball and getting that focus of a longer format.
“The patience of the game, staying focused for longer, little things that will come out over the next few days. The more we train, the more you start talking, you start asking questions.”
Ahead of the start of their Ashes tour, the Australians will play an intra-squad three-day warm-up game beginning on July 23. The two teams will be coached by Brad Haddin and Graeme Hick with Carey set to don the wicketkeeping gloves for the former’s side.
England’s 2019 ICC World Cup winning ODI skipper Eoin Morgan has landed his maiden Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) contract after being roped in by the Dhaka Dynamites for the upcoming season.
Morgan, who led England to their maiden World Cup glory just recently, will join Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan at the Dhaka franchise.
“We have signed Morgan for the upcoming edition of BPL considering his vast experience in shorter format cricket,” Dhaka Dynamites chief executive Obaid Nizam told Cricbuzz.
“We are expecting him to be available for the whole season,” he added.
The England skipper had this week been unveiled as one of the icon players for the inaugural Euro T20 Slam where he will represent the Dublin Chiefs outfit.
Rajshahi Kings are proud to announce that South African allrounder @jpduminy21 is a King now.— Rajshahi Kings (@RKingsOfficial) July 20, 2019
Duminy; an elegant left handed batsman, a useful spinner and a sharp fielder, has served South Africa for more than 14 years.#OwnTheCrown pic.twitter.com/guBdyRJkIe
Meanwhile, BPL franchise Rajshahi Kings have roped in South Africa’s JP Duminy for the upcoming season as one of their two out-of-draft signings.
The veteran all-rounder had retired from international cricket following the completion of the 2019 ICC World Cup and he will be playing in the BPL for the first time in the upcoming edition.
“Rajshahi Kings are proud to announce that South African all-rounder JP Duminy is a King now,” the franchise announced in a Facebook post.
“Duminy: an elegant left-handed batsman, a useful spinner and a sharp fielder, has served South Africa for more than 14 years. He has a vast experience in franchise cricket and already led PSL team Islamabad United to their second title in 2018,” the post added.
Earlier, the Khulna Titans had signed Australian veteran opener Shane Watson for the upcoming edition. The 2019-20 edition of the BPL is slated to get underway in the first week of December later this year.