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Here’s why New Zealand vs England series is not part of ICC World Test Championship

The two-year Championship cycle started with a blockbuster Ashes series in England.

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Kane Williamson and Joe Root
Kane Williamson and Joe Root. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

It is fair to say that the inaugural ICC World Test Championship- fallacy in its points table- notwithstanding, has added a cutting edge to the purest form of the game. Each and every Test match that comes under the two-year Test championship- even if it is a dead rubber.

The two-year Championship cycle started with a blockbuster Ashes series in England where Australia riding on the brilliance of Steven Smith (774 runs in four Tests at 110) and their fast bowlers- spearheaded by Pat Cummins– retained the urn on English soil (2-2) for the first time since the summer of 2001.

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England eventually came back in the final Test to ensure they kept their proud record of not having lost to Australia at home since Steve Waugh’s ever-conquering juggernaut masquerading as a Test match side won eighteen years. However, England’s issues in red-ball cricket- brittle top-order, lack of penetration and X-Factor in the bowling on flat batting decks coupled by Joe Root’s woeful captaincy- was once again exposed to the hilt.

New Zealand-England Test series is not the part of the Test Championship

So, as the tour of New Zealand, all eyes were on England and Joe Root, as to how they seek to turn around their fortunes as four Tests in South Africa loom in December-January. Everyone was excited about the prospect of seeing the World Cup finalists lock horns in whites. But, it left everyone gobsmacked when they found out that the two-match series was not a part of the ICC Test Championship.

According to the ICC Test Championship rules, each side has to play three series at home and an equal number of rubbers abroad. In the current two-year cycle, England is scheduled to play four Tests in South Africa (December 2019), two Tests in Sri Lanka (March 2020) and five Tests in India (January 2021), and the addition of another overseas series would have messed up the entire points system.

And, considering the fact that New Zealand swatted aside England as comprehensively as they did, the Three Lions will be relieved that it is not the part of the championship. Had it been a part of the two-year-cycle, Joe Root’s man would have lost 60 points, considering the fact that it is a two-match series.

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