The ICC has confirmed the World Test Championship (WTC) points system will be amended, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to decide the finalists on the basis of the percentage of points earned from those they contested for. The ICC Board approved the recommendation by its cricket committee, headed by Anil Kumble, which said that a team’s points earned will be calculated as a percentage of the points that were up for grabs, and the new standings will be decided accordingly, as had been reported by ESPNcricinfo last week.
The decision was taken at the ICC’s last quarterly meeting of the year which began on Monday this week.
Before the recommendations were approved, India led the table with 360 points followed by Australia on 296. Under the new system, India’s percentage points will now be 75% – 360 out of the 480 points they played for in four series – placing them second behind Australia, who will have 82.2%, calculated as 296 out of the 360 points they played for across three series.
An ICC release stated that even though current regulations say that matches not completed shall be treated as draws with points split, the cricket committee decided to determine the final WTC standings from matches that would be completed before the final scheduled to be played next June in England.
“Both the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives Committee supported the approach of ranking teams based on completed matches and points earned as this reflects their performance and doesn’t disadvantage teams that have been unable to compete all of their matches through no fault of their own,” ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said in a release. “We explored a whole range of options, but our Members felt strongly that we should proceed as planned with the first ever World Test Championship Final in June next year.”
The ICC Board also introduced a minimum age restriction of 15 years for international cricket “to improve safeguarding of players”. The restriction will apply across all cricket including ICC events, bilateral cricket and Under-19 matches. “To play in any form of men’s, women’s or Under-19 international cricket players must now be a minimum age of 15,” the release said.
“In case of exceptional circumstances, a Member Board could apply to the ICC to allow a player under the age of 15 to play for them. This could include where the player’s playing experience and mental development and wellbeing demonstrates that they would be capable of coping with the demands of international cricket.”
More to follow…