LONDON: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Monday officially launched the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC).
Getting underway on Thursday, the Test Championship will see the top nine Test teams in the world – Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies – compete in 71 Test matches across 27 series, played over two years; with the top two teams contesting the ICC World Test Championship Final in June 2021 (to be played in the UK) and the winners crowned ICC World Test Champions.
Comments Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager – Cricket Operations said in a statement: “The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this summer showed just how important it is for every game to count and for the world’s best teams to go head-to-head. The World Test Championship will bring relevance and context to bilateral Test cricket over the next two years, creating a pinnacle event for the five-day format, just as the World Cups for men and women do in the ODI and T20I formats.”
“Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport,” said England’s leading test wicket-taker, James Anderson. “It is the very essence of cricket and the majority of players want to strive to play the purist form of the game. The ICC World Test Championship is another brilliant initiative for the sport, adding context and relevance to every Test series. Every Test matters, but even more so now.”
“We are awaiting the ICC World Test Championship with great enthusiasm as it adds context to the longest format of the game,” said India’s skipper, Virat Kohli. “Test cricket is very challenging and coming out on top in the traditional form is always highly satisfying. The Indian team has done really well in recent years and will be fancying its chances in the championship.”