CHENNAI: A hundred and twenty points will be at stake in every series under the ICC Test Championship, which will commence shortly after the 2019 World Cup. The points structure for the inaugural edition is among topics coming up for discussion in the quarterly meeting of the International Cricket Council beginning in Singapore on Wednesday.
Though the ICC had formalised the Future Tours Programme in June and the series which come under the first Test Championship cycle (2019-2021), there were plenty of deliberations regarding distribution of points. The championship features series with two to five Tests. The top two teams will make it to the final to be held in England in 2021.
In all likelihood, every series will award 120 points. In case of a two-match series, the winning team will receive 60 points per match. The teams will get 20 each in case of a draw. In a three-match series, the winners will get 40 points, with a draw fetching 13 each. Every team will play at least one two-Test series and a three-Test series.
In case of a four-match series, which only India, South Africa, England and Australia play, winners will get 30 points. A draw will get 10 each. In the Ashes and series between India and England, which are the only two involving five Tests, the winners will get 24 points. A draw would mean eight for both.
England, with 22 Tests, will play the most number of matches in the first cycle followed by Australia (19) and India (18). South Africa will play 16, while New Zealand and Bangladesh will feature in 14 each. Sri Lanka and Pakistan have 13 each and the West Indies 15.
The tournament will see each team play three series at home and three away. Although there is disparity in the number of matches played, the number of series remains six for every team, which means a total of 720 points are at stake for all nine teams.
The ICC will introduce stricter guidelines for sexual harassment cases. It has received around nine complaints in the last 18 months. These guidelines will come into effect before the Women’s World T20 in the Caribbean next month. The complaints include an alleged harassment of women journalists, inappropriate behaviour by a support staff of a prominent team and an allegation of harassment by a player.
More teams for World T20
The ICC will deliberate increasing the number of teams for the next WT20. The 2016 edition had 16 teams, including eight competing in the qualifying rounds. This number is likely to be increased to 12 as the ICC is keen on having cricket in the 2028 Olympics. It is also likely to increase the number of teams in the 50-over World Cup. The decision to field only 10 for 2019 has received criticism. This number is likely to be around 14 or 16.