ICC World Test Championship

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ICC World Test Championship
Administrator International Cricket Council
Format Test cricket
First tournament Cancelled
Next tournament 2017
Tournament format Semi-final, and final
Number of teams 4

The ICC World Test Championship was intended to become the premier championship for Test cricket run by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with the play-offs being scheduled to be held for the first time in 2017. The original plans to hold the competition in 2013 were abandoned due to financial problems. It was going to replace the one-day international competition, the ICC Champions Trophy. The ICC had also announced plans to stage the second Test championship in India in Feb-March 2021.[1][2] The top four ranked teams on December 31, 2016 – the cut-off date set by the International Cricket Council (ICC) - would have played the three-match Test championship between the first and third weeks of June 2017. There would have been two semi-finals and the winners play the final.[3]

During January 2014 the ICC World Test Championship was cancelled and the ICC Champions Trophy will be reinstated for 2017.[4]


This championship was first proposed in 2009, when the ICC met the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), to discuss a proposed test match championship. Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe was one of the main brains behind this proposal.[5]

The idea of a test championship was considered by the ICC Chief Executives' Committee at a meeting at their headquarters in Dubai in mid-September 2010. ICC spokesperson Colin Gibson said that much more would be revealed after the meeting, and that if the championship was held in England, then the favoured final venue would be Lord's.[6] As expected, the ICC approved the plan and said that the first tournament would be held in England and Wales in 2013. The format of the tournament was also announced. There was a debate as to whether the play-off would take place between the bottom two teams or the top four teams, but the latter was unanimously chosen by the board. It was also announced that the tournament would replace the limited-overs tournament, the ICC Champions Trophy.[7]

However in 2011 the ICC announced that the Test Championship would not take place until 2017, and that the 2013 tournament would be cancelled. This was due to financial problems within the board, and its commitment to its sponsors and broadcasters. England and Wales, the original hosts of this cancelled tournament were awarded the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy instead, the tournament that the Test Championship was intended to replace.[8] This drew widespread criticism; both Greg Chappell and Graeme Smith criticised the ICC, saying that postponing the Test Championship was a wrong and unjustified thing.[9][10] The Guardian reported that this postponement was a blow to Lord's which had been expected to host the final.[11]

At the chief executives' meeting of the ICC in April 2012, it confirmed that the ICC Champions Trophy would be last held in 2013 with the inaugural Test Championship play-offs being scheduled for June 2017. [12] The ICC said that there would be only one trophy for each format of the game, which meant that the Champions Trophy would no longer take place since the Cricket World Cup is the premier event for 50-over cricket.


According to an announcement made by the ICC at their headquarters in Dubai in 2010, the format will comprise an inaugural league stage, played over a period of four years, with all ten current test cricket nations of the ICC (Australia, India, England, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh) participating. After the league stage the top four teams will take part in the play-offs, with the final determining the Test cricket champions.[13]

No decision has been made concerning how to decide the outcome of drawn matches in the knock-out stages.

2017 tournament[edit]

When the ICC approved the Championship in 2010, it was also announced that England and Wales would host the inaugural tournament in 2013, with Lord's hosting the final. However, the tournament was eventually cancelled due to financial problems, and as The Guardian reported, it not only spread criticism in England, but around the world. The limited-overs ICC Champions Trophy, which it replaced, was instead named as the tournament to be held in 2013.

The first ever Test cricket championship was scheduled to be held in 2017, with the final possibly following the historical timeless test format.[14] Further improvements in the structure of the championship have also been discussed.

The top four teams in the World Test Rankings on December 31, 2016 would have qualified for the three-match semi-finals to be held in 2017, provisionally scheduled to be held in England.[15]

Year Host Final Venue Final
Winner Result Runner-up
2013  England
Lord's, London
2017  England
Lord's, London

Teams participating[edit]

So far, only the current ICC-recognized 10 Test cricket playing nations can participate in the tournament. The inaugural tournament is set for 2017, after the 2013 tournament was cancelled because of pressure from television companies to continue with the ICC Champions Trophy.

In 2009 Ireland stated its intention to apply for Full Membership of the ICC with the aim of achieving Test status,[16] and restated its intention in 2012, but the 2012 plan aims to achieve Test status by 2020,[17] which, even if successful, would be too late for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship scheduled to take place in 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ICC presidency term to be cut to a year Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 April 2012
  2. ^ No Champions Trophy after 2013 Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 April 2012
  3. ^ http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/icc-world-test-championship-england-2017-champions-trophy/1/286054.html
  4. ^ http://tvnz.co.nz/cricket-news/watered-down-icc-proposal-significant-nz-5814010
  5. ^ ICC calls meeting with MCC to discuss proposed World Test Championship The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  6. ^ ICC to hold World Test Cup in 2013? The Times of India. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  7. ^ ICC approves Test championship ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  8. ^ World Test Championship to be Postponed; Financial Considerations to Blame Crickblog. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  9. ^ Test Championship postponement a 'shame' – Greg Chappell ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  10. ^ ICC too slow on test championship says Smith Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  11. ^ Lord's suffers Test Championship blow as ICC scraps mandatory DRS rule The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  12. ^ No Champions Trophy after 2013 Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 April 2012
  13. ^ ICC approves Test championship ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  14. ^ ICC could revive 'timeless' Test match for world championship The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2012
  15. ^ All Test nations 'must play 15 matches' by December 2016 to qualify for World Test Championship Daily Mail. Retrieved 6 June 2013
  16. ^ Brown, Alex (November 3, 2009). "Ireland in hot pursuit of Full Member status | Ireland Cricket News". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Ireland announce plans to apply for Test status". BBC Sport - Cricket. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 

External links[edit]