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WTC 2021-23: Percentage-of-points ranking method to continue

International Cricket Council’s (ICC) interim CEO, Geoff Allardice, in a media interaction on Monday said that while working with the principle that “every match should count”, the percentage-of-points ranking method for the World Test Championship (WTC) standings would continue into the next cycle of the competition between 2021-23.

The first WTC between 2019-21 was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic midway through its journey which forced ICC to make some changes to the ranking method of the teams.

Allardice stated that the change of standardisation of the point system made the competition a level-playing field.

He added that going forward the percentage-of-points method for the WTC standings - introduced as a result of the pandemic - would remain in place, with each Test to now be worth the same amount of points rather than each series.

In the original points system, 120 points were at stake for a 2,3,4 or 5-Test series. ICC altered the ranking method in November last year as COVID-19 forced many series to be postponed causing an imbalance in the rankings of the teams with some teams playing more series as compared to others.

The ICC interim CEO further said, “As we led up to the last couple of series in the competition, we had four teams in the running for the two spots in the final, and in the minds of a lot of people those last three or four months painted a picture of what the future might look like for the WTC.”

"We are going to stick with the percentage-of-points-won method to rank teams," Allardice said. "When we looked at the first 12 months of the competition you had teams on a number of points, but it was all relative to how many series they had played. So, one of the ways to compare teams on an ongoing basis is what proportion of the points that have been available in the matches they played have been actually won. And that percentage served us well in the second half of the Championship,” he added.

“The other thing is if we are using the percentage of points won then we can put a standardised number of points per Test match. So, it doesn't matter if it is a two-Test series or a five-Test series, the same number of points will be available for each match that's played, but every team would be judged on the percentage of those points it wins, not on total," Allardice clarified.

The ICC Cricket Committee headed by former India captain Anil Kumble had suggested the alteration to the points system. The first edition of WTC will end with the final between India and New Zealand at Southampton in England between June 18-22.

Best-of-three final “unrealistic”

The ICC interim CEO also commended India coach Ravi Shastri’s idea of a best-of-three final to determine the winner of the second edition of WTC but termed it “unrealistic” due to the constraints of the cricket calendar.

"In a perfect world a three-Test series would be a great way to decide the World Test Championship," Allardice said. "But the reality (of) the international cricket schedule is we are just not going to have [a situation where] blocking out a month or so for all the teams in the tournament for the final is realistic,” he added.


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