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)
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