The World Test Championship points system received plenty of criticism from fans and players alike during the first edition. It prompted the International Cricket Council (ICC) to come up with a new system altogether for the second cycle of the competition.

The previous rules were branded complex and disorganised. Hence, WTC 2 will see teams playing under a new set of rules.

World Test Championship points system: How it works

The rules have been reworked by the international body following the first edition of WTC as points are no longer associated with the series. The teams will rather win points on a per-game basis.

WTC points system: Distribution

  • 12 points for a win
  • 4 points for each team in case of a draw
  • 6 points for each team for a tie 

There is a penalty involved for slow over-rate as well. Teams will be docked one point for every fall behind.

What was the previous WTC points system?

Under the previous rules, ICC allotted points on a per-series basis. One Test series was worth a maximum of 120 points. Every team was scheduled to play six series (home and away), and a maximum of 720 points were up for grabs.

Hence, a win in a two-match Test series was worth 60 points and 40 points for a Test win in a three-match series, with the maximum attainable points total of 120.

In the event of a tie, points were equally divided between the teams, while a drawn Test gave the teams one-third of the points. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICC was forced to tweak the points system in 2020.

Change in points system towards the end of 2020

The rankings were calculated according to percentage of points (POP). The POP is derived by establishing the percentage of points won by a team out of the total number of points contested in a series.

Before India beat Australia and England earlier this year, they had earned 360 points out of a maximum possible 480, giving India a POP of 75. On the other hand, Australia had 296 points out of 360 points, with a POP of 82.22.

Later, once India finished their quota of six series on their way to the WTC. The total number of points at stake for India was 720. Out of which, India accumulated 600 points, with a percentage of 83.33.

Why did the ICC change the WTC points system?

ICC acting chief executive Geoff Allardice said that the governing body took the feedback from the previous edition and decided to simplify the points distribution.

“We received feedback that the previous points system needed to be simplified. The Cricket Committee took this into consideration when proposing a new, standardised points system for each match. It maintained the principle of ensuring that all matches in a WTC series count towards a team’s standing, while accommodating series varying in length between two Tests and five Tests.

“During the pandemic, we had to change to ranking teams on the points table using the percentage of available points won by each team, since all series could not be completed. 

“This helped us determine the finalists and we were able to complete the championship within the scheduled time frame. This method also allowed us to compare the relative performance of teams at any time, regardless of how many matches they had played,” he added.

As it was in the first edition, the 2021-23 World Test Championship will see nine teams playing six series. Each team will play three home series and three away series.