Ashes first match marks beginning of ICC World Test Championship

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Birmingham: The first match of the Ashes marks the beginning of a new championship in cricket as the ICC Test Championship is all set to get under way.

The Test Championship will be played over a period of two years, which brings with itself a context for the long format at the right tie, as the format is slowly beginning to lose its audience.

The championship will feature top nine teams – Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies — fight for the top honours in 71 Test matches across 27 series over the next two years. The top two teams will then play the final scheduled to be to held in June 2021 in the United Kingdom.

Each team will play three home and three away series and will be awarded points for every game. Each series will count for 120 points, distributed over the number of matches in a series.

For example, a two-match series will mean 60 points for each Test while a three-match series will give 40 points to each match. A tie will be 50 per cent of the points available, whilst a draw will be a 3:1 points ratio.

The number of matches in each series can vary between a minimum of two matches, to a maximum of five matches.

The first cycle of the WTC consists of only five-day matches and will include day-night matches, subject to bilateral and mutual agreement between the opponents.

Only matches identified as part of the WTC will count towards the championship.

India’s Test matches against West Indies that will start later this month will also be a part of the championship.