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Why New Zealand vs England series is not a part of the World Test Championship

EXPERT COLUMNIST
Feature
Published 19 Nov 2019, 20:20 IST
19 Nov 2019, 20:20 IST

The ICC Test Championship has been a success
The ICC Test Championship has been a success

The 2019 Ashes series marked the beginning of the ICC World Test Championship as Australia and England played out an entertaining 2-2 stalemate.

Thereafter, India underlined their credentials with a thumping series victory against the West Indies whereas they continued that trend against the South Africans at home a few weeks later. In the meantime, New Zealand and Sri Lanka also played out an instalment on the latter’s patch, with the series ending all square.

However, despite an enormous amount of the cricketing fan base getting glued to the inaugural Test Championship, there still remain questions over how the competition has been scheduled, meaning how many series each side would be playing and which of those are on the road.

Also see - Live cricket score

The format of the tournament mandates that each nation would play six series under the Test Championship, with three of those being played at home while the others would be played away.

Consequently, that has meant that all teams are not playing each other on a round-robin basis, wherein participants usually compete once with all the other sides in the competition before the group stage culminates.

Inevitably, the scheduling has allowed for certain teams to play more lower-ranked nations while the others have had slightly tougher fixtures drawn up. The aforementioned aspect has come to the fore due to the criteria that each country must categorically take part in three home and away series, while also not repeating their opponent.

Thus, the upcoming series between England and New Zealand falls into the section of Test matches that aren’t being included in the Test Championship. If it were to be included, then the Three Lions would’ve played an away series more, meaning that the rest of the schedule would’ve gone pear-shaped.

Having said that though, the scheduling has still left a lot to be desired and it is something the ICC could look at moving forward, especially considering the concept of the competition has been welcomed with open arms.

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For now, though, that represents the primary explanation for the anomaly existing for the rubber between England and New Zealand.  

Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:05 IST
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