The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday effected changes to the WTC rules. The changes in ICC WTC points system had be made as several bilateral series could not be played due to Covid-19 pandemic. Changes to the rules were made to determine the nine teams’ standings on the points table. As a result of the changes in WTC rules, Australian cricket team has pushed India to the second spot in the ICC World Test Championship. Although India (360 points) still have 64 more points than Australia (296) and more series wins, the Aussies have gone atop after the ICC Board approved that the matches played and the matches lost won’t be treated as drawn and points would be split. Australia now have 0.822 percentage points, which propelled them to the No.1 spot, while India have 0.750. England are at the third position with 0.608 percentage points, New Zealand fourth with 0.500, and Pakistan fifth with 0.395.
“The unprecedented disruption caused by Covid-19 means, to date, just under half of the WTC matches have been played, with that estimated to rise to more than 85 per cent 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 WTC League standings from matches played,” said an ICC press statement on Thursday. “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,” it said. It was the ICC Cricket Committee, headed by former India Test captain Anil Kumble, who proposed this amendment to the governing council since the pandemic caused major disruption in cricket calendars globally. According to the new rule, participating teams will be ranked in order of percentage of points earned.
Meanwhile, team India are all set to begin the 2020-21 tour of Australia with the ODI series from November 27. It will be followed by the three-match T20I series from December 4 before the Virat Kohli-led team begins the title defence of the Border-Gavaskar trophy with the pink-ball Test in Adelaide from December 17. The day-night Test will be followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15). This Test series between Australia and India is going to be a really crucial series for both teams with respect to the WTC points table.