ICC makes alterations to World Test Championship points system

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World Test Championship

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed the World Test Championship points system will be amended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board approved a recommendation from the ICC Cricket Committee, headed by Anil Kumble, to change the competition terms for the event to determine how series affected by the global pandemic are accounted for on the points table.

COVID forces World Test Championship changes

The unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19 means, to date, just under half of the World Test Championship matches have been played, with that estimated to rise to more than 85% by the end of the competition window. Current regulations dictate that matches not completed shall be treated as a draw with points split. The Cricket Committee considered maintaining that status quo or determining the final World Test Championship League standings from matches played.

The Cricket Committee recommended the latter option, which was approved by the Chief Executives Committee and ratified by the Board, meaning teams will be ranked in order of percentage of points earned.

 “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 CEO Manu Sawhney said.

“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 Board also confirmed that the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will move from its current slot at the end of 2022 to 9-26 February 2023. The move follows the decision in August to postpone the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 to 2022 meaning there would be three major events in 2022 with the Commonwealth Games in July 2022 and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup due to be held in November 2022.

As there are currently no major women’s events scheduled to take place in 2023 the Board confirmed the switch for the T20 World Cup to better support player preparation and to continue to build the momentum around the women’s game beyond 2022.

“Moving the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to 2023 makes perfect sense on a number of levels. Firstly, it will provide a better workload balance for players giving them the best possible opportunity to perform to the highest levels on a global stage. Secondly, we can continue to build the momentum around the women’s game through 2022 and into 2023. We are committed to fueling the growth of the women’s game and today’s decision enables us to do that over the longer term.”

Excluded Persons Policy

The Board also approved the introduction of an Excluded Persons Policy as part of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code with immediate effect. The policy enables the ICC ACU to exclude corruptors who are ‘non-participants’ to the Code to prevent people who attempt to corrupt the sport from involvement in the game. It will also make it an offence for ‘participants’ to the Code to associate with excluded non-participants.

“This is a significant addition to the ICC Anti-Corruption Code and enables the sport to impose an exclusion order on known corruptors preventing them from any involvement in cricket activities including playing, administration, financing, attendance or any kind of involvement in a league, team or franchise,” Sawhney added.

“It will allow our ACU to better disrupt the activities of non-participant corruptors which currently the ICC have little, if any, control over. This is crucial if we are to continue to protect the integrity of our sport.”

The Board confirmed the introduction of minimum age restrictions for international cricket to improve safeguarding of players which will apply across all cricket including ICC events, bilateral cricket and U19 cricket. To play in any form of men’s, women’s or U19 international cricket players must now be a minimum age of 15.

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.

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