ICC Test Championship

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
ICC Test Championship
Mrf-rankings-logo.png
ICC Test Championship logo
Administrator International Cricket Council
Format Test cricket
First tournament 2003
Last tournament ongoing
Tournament format notional (ongoing points
accumulation through all matches played)
Number of teams 10
Current champion  India (115 points)
Most successful  Australia (83 months)

The ICC Test Championship is an international competition run by the International Cricket Council in the sport of cricket for the 10 teams that play Test cricket. The competition is notional in the sense that it is simply a ranking scheme overlaid on all international matches that are otherwise played as part of regular Test cricket scheduling with no consideration of home or away status.

In essence, after every Test series, the two teams involved receive points based on a mathematical formula. Each team's points total is divided by their total number of matches played to give a 'rating', and the Test-playing teams are ranked by order of rating (this can be shown in a table).

A drawn match between higher and lower rated teams will benefit the lower-rated team at the expense of the higher-rated team. An 'average' team that wins as often as it loses while playing a mix of stronger and weaker teams should have a rating of 100.

The International Cricket Council awards a trophy, the ICC Test Championship mace, to the team holding the highest rating. The mace is transferred whenever a new team moves to the top of the rating list.[1] The team that is top of the ratings table on 1 April each year also wins a cash prize, currently $1 million.[2]

India are currently the highest-ranked team in the ICC Test Championship, having taken over at the top in October 2016 when they won their Test series 3-0 with New Zealand.[3]

Current rankings[edit]

ICC Test Championship
Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  India 29 3328 115
2  England 44 4631 105
3  Australia 40 4189 105
4  Pakistan 32 3274 102
5  South Africa 29 2944 102
6  New Zealand 38 3666 96
7  Sri Lanka 35 3370 96
8  West Indies 30 2077 69
9  Bangladesh 15 978 65
10  Zimbabwe 10 48 5
Reference: ICC Rankings, 29 November 2016
"Matches" is no. matches + no. series played in the 12-24 months since the May before last, plus half the number in the 24 months before that.

Historical rankings[edit]

World rankings for the top eight teams from 2003 to June 2011

The ICC provides ratings for the end of each month back to June 2003. The teams that have successively held the highest rating since that date, by whole month periods, are:

Team Start End Total Months Cumulative Months Highest rating
 Australia June 2003 July 2009 74 74 143
 South Africa August 2009 November 2009 3 3 122
 India November 2009 August 2011 21 21 130
 England August 2011 August 2012 12 12 125
 South Africa August 2012 May 2014 21 24 135
 Australia May 2014 July 2014 3 77 123
 South Africa July 2014 January 2016 18 42 130
 India January 2016 February 2016 1 22 110
 Australia February 2016 August 2016 6 83 118
 India August 2016 August 2016 0 22 112
 Pakistan August 2016 October 2016 2 2 111
 India October 2016 present 2 24 115
Reference: ICC Rankings

Since the ICC officially began ranking teams in 2003, Australia has dominated as it had done so in Test cricket since around 1995. However, from 2009, several teams (Australia, South Africa, India, England and Pakistan) have competed for the top positions.

The ICC recently applied its current rating system to results since 1952 providing ratings for the end of each month back to 1952 further indicating Australia's historical dominance in Test Cricket with the most consecutive months ranked first (95 months) from September 2001 to July 2009, the highest number of months ranked first (326 months) and the highest rating (143). The table only begins from 1952 as prior to this date, there is not enough data available due to the infrequency of matches and the small number of competing teams in the earlier periods.

The teams that have successively held the highest rating since January 1952 till May 2003, by whole month periods, are:

Team Start End Total Months Cumulative Months
 Australia January 1952 May 1955 41 41
 England June 1955 February 1958 33 33
 Australia March 1958 July 1958 5 46
 England August 1958 December 1958 5 38
 Australia January 1959 December 1963 60 106
 West Indies January 1964 December 1968 60 60
 South Africa January 1969 December 1969 12 12
 England January 1970 January 1973 37 75
 Australia February 1973 March 1973 2 108
 India April 1973 June 1974 15 15
 Australia July 1974 January 1978 43 151
 West Indies February 1978 January 1979 12 72
 England February 1979 August 1980 19 94
 India September 1980 February 1981 6 21
 West Indies March 1981 July 1988 89 161
 Pakistan August 1988 September 1988 2 2
 West Indies October 1988 January 1991 28 189
 Australia February 1991 April 1991 3 154
 West Indies May 1991 July 1992 15 204
 Australia August 1992 January 1993 6 160
 West Indies February 1993 August 1995 31 235
 India September 1995 November 1995 3 24
 Australia December 1995 July 1999 44 204
 South Africa August 1999 December 1999 5 17
 Australia January 2000 February 2000 2 206
 South Africa March 2000 March 2000 1 18
 Australia April 2000 July 2001 16 222
 South Africa August 2001 August 2001 1 19
 Australia September 2001 May 2003 21 243
Reference: ICC Historical Rankings

The summary of teams that have held the highest rating from 1952 to the present by whole month periods, are:

Team Total Months Highest Rating
 Australia 326 143
 West Indies 235 135
 England 106 125
 South Africa 61 135
 India 48 130
 Pakistan 4 111
Reference: ICC Historical Rankings

Trophy[edit]

Since 2001, the top-ranked Test team in the world has been awarded the ICC Test Championship mace. It is worth £30,000.[4]

ICC World Test Championship[edit]

For the past few years there has been speculation that the ICC would introduce a Test Championship tournament, similar to that of the World Cup, Champions Trophy, World Twenty20 and ICC Intercontinental Cup.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat proposed a quadrennial tournament with the four best-performing nations meeting in the semi-finals and a final, in a bid to boost flagging interest in the longest form of the sport. The first tournament was meant to replace the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.[5][6] However, the Test championship was cancelled as the ICC stated that it was not supported by its broadcast partner – ESPN STAR Sports. This was mainly due to the fact that the broadcast of the Champions Trophy would generate much more revenue than a Test Championship.

Test championship calculations[edit]

Each team scores points based on the results of their matches over the last 3−4 years. A series must include at least two Tests.

The rankings table gives the total points from all series played in the 12–24 months since the May before last, plus all the series played in the 24 months before that, for which the matches played and points earned both count half. Each May, the matches and points earned between 3 and 4 years ago are removed, and the matches and points earned between 1 and 2 years ago switch from 100% weighting to 50% weighting. For example, at May 2014, the matches played between May 2010 and May 2011 were removed, and the matches played between May 2012 and May 2013 switched to 50% weighting. This happens overnight, so can result in teams changing positions in the ranking table despite no one playing. ICC Test Championship weightings

Each time two teams complete another series, the rankings tables is updated as described below, based on the ratings of the teams immediately before they played.[7][8]

Step 1. Find the series points for each team[edit]

  • Award 1 point to a team for each match won.
  • Award ½ point to a team for each match drawn or tied.
  • Award 1 bonus point to the team winning the series.
  • Award ½ bonus point to each team if the series is drawn.

Step 2. Convert these series points to actual ratings points[edit]

If the gap between the ratings of the two teams before the series was less than 40 points[edit]

The ratings points for each team equals:

(The team's own series points) x (The opponent's rating + 50) (The opponent's series points) x (The opponent's rating − 50)

As each match won earns a team 1 series point and their opponent 0, losing earns them 0 series points and their opponent 1, and drawing earns both teams ½ series point, each match played therefore earns teams ratings points as follows:

Single match result Ratings points earned
Win Opponent's rating + 50
Draw or tie Opponent's rating
Lose Opponent's rating − 50

As this formula only applies when the gap between the ratings of the two teams at the start of the series was less than 40 points, winning a match will always earn a team more rating points than the rating they already had, and losing a match will always earn a team fewer rating points than the rating they already had. Drawing a match will earn the weaker team more rating points than the rating they already had, and the stronger team fewer.

The difference between winning and losing a single match is therefore 100 points. Also, whether the outcome of a match is a win & lose or a draw, the total rating points earned by the two teams from that match will be the sum of the two teams' ratings before the series began. The total rating points earned from a series will therefore equal the sum of the two teams' ratings before the series began multiplied by (the number of matches + 1).

If the gap between the ratings of the two teams before the series was at least 40 points[edit]

The ratings points for the stronger team equals:

(The team's own series points) x (The team's own rating + 10) (The opponent's series points) x (The team's own rating − 90)

and the ratings points for the weaker team equals:

(The team's own series points) x (The team's own rating + 90) (The opponent's series points) x (The team's own rating − 10).

As above, each match played therefore earns teams ratings points as follows:

Single match result Ratings points earned
Stronger team wins Own rating + 10
Weaker team loses Own rating − 10
Stronger team draws or ties Own rating − 40
Weaker team draws or ties Own rating + 40
Stronger team loses Own rating − 90
Weaker team wins Own rating + 90

Therefore, again, winning a match will always earn a team more rating points than the rating they already had, and losing a match will always earn a team fewer rating points than the rating they already had. Drawing a match will earn the weaker team more points than the rating they already had, and the stronger team fewer.

For both teams, the difference between winning and losing a single match is still 100 points. Also, whichever of the three outcomes happens, the total rating points earned by the two teams from that match will be the sum of the two teams' ratings before the series began.

Step 3. Update the ranking table[edit]

For each team:

  • Add the ratings points scored to their total ratings points already scored (in previous matches).
  • Update the number of matches played by adding the number of Series points available. This is one more than the number of games in the series, as there is an additional point available for the series winner (a two Test match series will result in the match count getting incremented by three).
  • Divide the new rating points total by the updated number of matches to get the updated Rating.

Example[edit]

Suppose two teams, initially with ratings of 120 and 90, play a 3-match series, and the team with the higher initial rating wins 2-1:

Team Ratings before the series The series Ratings after the series
Matches Points Rating Matches won Matches drawn Series points Ratings points Matches Points Rating
A 30 3600 120 2 0 3 3x(90+50) + 1x(90-50) = 460 30+3+1=34 3600+460=4060 119.4
B 36 3240 90 1 0 1 1x(120+50) + 3x(120-50) = 380 36+3+1=40 3240+380=3620 90.5
  • The total Ratings points available from the series (460+380=840) is the same as the initial ratings of the teams multiplied by the number of Series points available ((120+90)x4=840).
  • The two teams' total ratings is almost exactly the same after the series (119.4+90.5=209.9) as before the series (120+90=210). The series has therefore not generated any extra ratings, but has just redistributed the ratings the two teams already had. When these ratings are published in the official table in their rounded form (119 and 91), the total ratings after the series will be exactly the same as before the series. There is therefore no points 'inflation' in this system, which means that comparisons of ratings over time are meaningful.[9]
  • Despite winning the series, Team A's rating has reduced, and despite losing the series, Team B's rating has increased. If Team A had won the series 3-0 then its rating would have increased to 122.4.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]