ICC unveils inaugural World Test Championship schedulehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/icc-unveils-inaugural-world-test-championship-schedule-5225883/

ICC unveils inaugural World Test Championship schedule

The International Cricket Council (ICC) unveiled details of a revamped match schedule on Wednesday which will underpin its inaugural World Test Championship starting next year.

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The long-awaited Championship, involving the nine top-ranked test nations competing in a league between July 15, 2019 to April 30, 2021, has been designed to give more meaning to test series for cricket fans. (Source: AP)

India will travel to the West Indies for their opening series in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC), the ICC announced today as it released the Future Tours Program for the 2018-2023 cycle.

India will play a two-Test series in the Caribbean as part of the WTC, the ICC said in a statement.

Overall, nine top-ranked sides will participate in the inaugural edition of the WTC, which will run from July 15, 2019 to April 30, 2021.

The West Indies series will take place right after the 2019 ODI World Cup and the tour will also comprise three ODIs and as many T20s. India are also set to host the West Indies for three Tests, five ODIs and three T20s later this year.

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India’s second opponent in the WTC will be South Africa whom they will host for three Tests. That home series in October 2019 will be followed by another one against Bangladesh, who will travel to India for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.

India’s next couple of series in WTC will take place in New Zealand (two Tests) and Australia (four Tests) in 2020-2021 before they play England in a five-Test series at home.

The WTC series against New Zealand in 2020 will have Tests but no five-day games are scheduled when India travel to play the Black Caps next year.

Expectedly, India and Pakistan are not scheduled to play in the WTC but they could still meet in the final. In total, India will play 18 Tests in WTC and 12 of them will be against Australia, South Africa and England.

“Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but with the release of this FTP, our members have found a genuine solution that gives fans around the world the chance to engage regularly…,” ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson stated.

In addition to the WTC, 12 Test playing nations and the Netherlands will participate in the 13-team ODI League, which will run from May 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022 and all the sides will play eight series over a two-year cycle on a home and away basis against mutually agreed opponents.

India will travel to Sri Lanka in June 2020 for their first series in the ODI League.

The League will serve as a qualifier to the 2023 World Cup.

Hosts India plus the seven highest-ranked sides in the ODI league as on March 31, 2022 will qualify directly for the 2023 World Cup, while the bottom five sides will get a second chance to qualify through the ICC World Cup Qualifier.

In the entire 208-2023 cycle, India will play over 200 matches, more than any other team. They will host as many as 102 games and barring Pakistan and Ireland, all Test playing nations will be touring the cricket crazy country.

Schedule

India

July-August 2019: Two away Tests in West Indies

October-November 2019: Three home Tests against South Africa

November 2019: Two home Tests against Bangladesh

February 2020: Two away Tests in New Zealand

December 2020: Four away Tests in Australia

South Africa

October 2019: Three away Tests in India

December 2019-January 2020 – Four home Tests against England

July-August 2020: Two away Tests in West Indies

January 2021: Two home Tests against Sri Lanka

January-February 2021: Two away Tests against Pakistan

February-March 2021: Three home Tests against Australia

Australia

July-August-September 2019: Five Ashes Tests away in England

November 2019: Two home Tests against Pakistan

December 2019-January 2020: Three home Tests against New Zealand

February 2020: Two away Tests against Bangladesh

November-December 2020: Four home Tests against India

February-March 2021: Three away Tests against South Africa

New Zealand

July-August 2019: Two away Tests in Sri Lanka

December 2019-January 2020: Three away Tests in Australia

February 2020: Two home Tests against India

August-September 2020: Two away Tests in Bangladesh

November-December 2020: Three home Tests against Windies

December 2020: Two home Tests against Pakistan

England

July-August 2019: Five Ashes Tests at home against Australia

December 2019-January 2020: Four away Tests in South Africa

March 2020: Two away Tests in Sri Lanka

June-July 2020: Three home Tests against Windies

July-August 2020: Three home Tests against Pakistan

January-February 2021: Five away Tests in India

Sri Lanka

July-August 2019: Two home Tests against New Zealand

October 2019: Two away Tests against Pakistan

March-April 2020: Two home Tests against England

July-August 2020: Three home Tests against Bangladesh

January 2021: Two away Tests in South Africa

February-March 2021: Two away Tests in West Indies

Pakistan

October 2019: Two home Tests against Sri Lanka

November-December 2019: Two away Tests in Australia

January-February 2020: Two home Tests against Bangladesh

July-August 2020: Three away Tests in England

December 2020: Two away Tests in New Zealand

January-February 2021: Two home Tests against South Africa

Bangladesh

November 2019: Two away Tests in India

January-February 2020: Two away Tests in Pakistan

February 2020: Two home Tests against Australia

July-August 2020: Three away Tests in Sri Lanka

August-September 2020: Two home Tests against New Zealand

January-February 2021: Three home Tests against Windies

Windies

July-August 2019: Two home Tests against India

June-July 2020: Three away Tests in England

July-August 2020: Two home Tests against South Africa

November-December 2020: Three away Tests in New Zealand

January-February 2021: Three away Tests in Bangladesh

February-March 2021: Two home Tests in Sri Lanka