Details announced for 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship

The points system has been simplified ahead of the second World Test Championship, with England’s first Test against India on August 4 kicking off the new cycle

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International fixures

The International Cricket Council has confirmed a new points system for the second edition of the World Test Championship, scheduled to run from 2021-23.

Each match of the upcoming Championship will be contested for the same number of points – 12 for a win, four for a draw, and six for a tie – rather than the previous system where the same number of points were allocated to each series and subsequently divided across the number of matches played.

As with the first edition of the Championship, the nine participating teams (Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies) will play three home series and three away series, with the cut-off date being March 31, 2023.

England will kick-off the second World Test Championship on August 4 in Nottingham when they face India in the first of five Tests. Joe Root’s side will also face Australia (away), West Indies (away), defending champions New Zealand (home), Pakistan (away) and South Africa (home) as part of the 2021-23 cycle.

Explaining the decision to alter the points system, ICC acting chief executive, Geoff Allardice, said: "We received feedback that the previous points system needed to be simplified. The Cricket Committee took this into consideration when proposing a new, standardized points system for each match. It maintained the principle of ensuring that all matches in a WTC series count towards a team’s standing, while accommodating series varying in length between two Tests and five Tests.

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and England skipper Joe Root voiced their support for the World Test Championship

"During the pandemic we had to change to ranking teams on the points table using the percentage of available points won by each team, since all series could not be completed. This helped us determine the finalists and we were able to complete the championship within the scheduled time frame. This method also allowed us to compare the relative performance of teams at any time, regardless of how many matches they had played."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and England skipper Joe Root voiced their support for the World Test Championship, with Williamson commenting that it provided a new meaning for red-ball internationals.

"It was obviously pretty special to win the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in Southampton last month and it’s exciting to now look ahead to the second edition," he said. "The WTC has certainly added more context and brought new meaning to Test cricket and it was awesome to see the interest that was generated around the final against India.

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"We know trying to defend the title will be a huge challenge, but our focus will be on making sure we prepare as well as we can for the tours ahead and trying to maintain our level of performance.”

Root added:"We start our campaign in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship against the finalists of last time, which is an interesting challenge straight away.

"India are a fine all-round side and it would be good to test them in our home conditions. We narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final last time and are looking to do better this time.

"Test cricket is a format we all want to excel in and with points at stake for each match, everyone has to be at their best all the time."

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