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Countries
Administrator International Cricket Council
Format Test cricket
First tournament 2017
Current champion TBD
Most successful TBD
Most runs TBD
Most wickets TBD

The ICC World Test Championship is the premier championship for Test cricket run by the International Cricket Council or ICC. After the approval by the board after the ICC Chief Executive Committee raised the proposal of a Test Championship, it was decided that the first tournament be held in 2013, however due to financial problems, the ICC announced that no such event could take place before 2017. The format was also announced by the ICC, that a league stage that would take four years will be followed by playoffs between the top four teams in that league, with the winners taking part in the final.

In the chief executive meeting of the ICC in April 2012, it confirmed that the ICC Champions Trophy will be last held in 2013 with the inaugural Test championship playoffs being scheduled for June 2017. In the future schedule released by the ICC, the second Test championship is planned for 2021.

Prelude

The first time that the Championship came into a possible creation in the future, when in 2009, the ICC in a meeting with the Marylebone Cricket Club or MCC, to discuss the proposed Championship. Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe was one of the main brains behind the idea of a possible Test championship.

The idea of a Test Championship was considered by the ICC Chief Executive Committee. The ICC was to decide on the proposal at a meeting at their headquarters in Dubai in mid-September 2010. ICC spokesperson Colin Gibson said that much more will be revealed after the meeting, and that if the championship was held at England, then the favored final venue will be Lord's. As expected, the ICC approved the plan and said that the first tournament to be held in 2013, will be held at England and Wales. The format of the tournament was also announced. There was a debate as to whether the playoff will constitute the bottom two teams or the top four teams, but the latter was unanimously chosen by the board. It was also announced that it would replace the limited-overs tournament, the ICC Champions Trophy.

In June 2011, the first Test championship tournament broadcasting deals were hit by a TV dispute.

In 2011, the ICC announced that they could revive the historical timeless test format for the final of the championship. Further improvements in the structure of the championship were also discussed.

However, soon after, the ICC announced that the Test Championship were not happening till 2017, and that the 2013 tournament will be cancelled. This was due to financial problems within the board, and its commitment to its sponsors and broadcasters, and England and Wales, the original hosts of this cancelled tournament was assigned with the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy instead, the tournament that the Championship was replacing. This drew widespread criticism, as both Greg Chappell and Graeme Smith criticized the ICC, saying that postponing the Test Championship was a wrong and unjustified thing. The Guardian reported that this postponement had resulted in the greatest loss of Lord's which had been expected to host the final, and the ESPN Star Sports combine being particularly the most pessimistic.

In the chief executive meeting of the ICC in April 2012, it confirmed that the ICC Champions Trophy will be last held in 2013 with the inaugural Test championship playoffs being scheduled for June 2017. In the future schedule released by the ICC, the second Test championship is planned for 2021. The ICC has said that they would have only one trophy for each format, which meant that the Champions Trophy would not be played since the Cricket World Cup is the premier trophy of the 50-over version of the game.

2013 Tournament

The 2013 Tournament was supposed to be the inaugural tournament to be held in England and Wales, with Lord's serving as the final venue. However, due to financial problems, the tournament was cancelled, which drew widespread criticism from around the world. The limited-overs ICC Champions Trophy, which it replaced, was instead named as the tournament to be held in those countries.

2017 Tournament

main|2017 ICC World Test Championship The first ever Test cricket championship is scheduled to be held in 2017, with the final possibly following the historical timeless test format. The host country for the tournament is yet to be announced.

In the chief executive meeting of the ICC in April 2012, it confirmed that the ICC Champions Trophy will be last held in 2013 with the inaugural Test championship playoffs being scheduled for June 2017. In the future schedule released by the ICC, the second Test championship is planned for 2021. The ICC has said that they would have only one trophy for each format, which meant that the Champions Trophy would not be played since the Cricket World Cup is the premier trophy of the 50-over version of the game.

Format

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 current 10 test cricket nations of the ICC participating. The top four teams in that league progress to the final knock out stage to consist of semi-finals and a final to decide Test cricket champions.

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

Tournament

The inaugural tournament was supposed to be held in 2013, with Lord's expected to host the final. However, due to financial problems, the tournament was cancelled. The inaugural tournament will be held in 2017 where the 10 ICC Full member nations, Australia, India, England, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh will take part. They will compete in a league stage spread over four years, and then the top four teams will take part in the playoffs with the final determining the winner.

Media Coverage

A major TV dispute before the first planned (but eventually abandoned) Test Championship in 2013, further threatened to further disrupt the already crowded calendar. This was because the ESPN Star Sports, the broadcasting rights owner of all ICC events until 2015, was not to keen on losing on the ICC Champions Trophy which was last won in 2009 by Australia. It is currently undecided who would earn the broadcasting deals as by 2017, ESPN-Star Sports's contract will expire.

Host Selection

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.

It is currently not announced who would host the 2017 tournament.

Tournament history

Year Host Nation(s) Final Venue Final
Winner Result Runner-up
2013
Flag of England.png England Flag of Wales.png Wales
England & Wales
Lord's, London Cancelled Cancelled Cancelled
2017
Details
Not designated Not designated TBD TBD TBD
Year Teams
2013 10 teams (cancelled)
2017 10 teams

Performance by teams

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 was cancelled.

Debutant teams

Year Teams
2013 Cancelled
2017 Flag of Australia.png Australia, Flag of India.png India, Flag of England.png England, Flag of South Africa.svg.png South Africa, Flag of Pakistan.png Pakistan, Flag of Sri Lanka.svg.png Sri Lanka, Flag of New Zealand.svg.png New Zealand, Flag of West Indies.png West Indies, Flag of Zimbabwe.svg.png Zimbabwe, Flag of Bangladesh.svg.png Bangladesh

Overview

The following table provides an overview of performances by the different test-playing nation in the championship. Teams are sorted by best performance, then total number of wins, then total number of games, then by alphabetical order.

Team Appearances Best result Statistics
Total First Latest Played Won Lost Tie NR
Flag of Australia.png Australia
Flag of India.png India
Flag of England.png England
Flag of South Africa.svg.png South Africa
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg.png Sri Lanka
Flag of Pakistan.png Pakistan
Flag of New Zealand.svg.png New Zealand
Flag of West Indies.png West Indies
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg.png Zimbabwe
Flag of Bangladesh.svg.png Bangladesh

External links

International cricket
Structure
Test cricketOne Day International (ODI)Twenty20
Events
World CupChampions TrophyWorld Twenty20World Test ChampionshipTest ChampionshipODI ChampionshipT20 ChampionshipWomen's World CupIntercontinental Cup