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ICC Test Championship
ICCranking logo.png
ICC Test Championship logo
Administrator International Cricket Council
Format Test cricket
First tournament 1996
Last tournament ongoing
Tournament format notional (ongoing points
accumulation through all matches played)
Number of teams  Australia
 Bangladesh
 England
 India
 New Zealand
 Pakistan
 Sri Lanka
 South Africa
 West Indies
 Zimbabwe
Most successful  Australia (73 months)

The ICC Test Championship is a international competition run by the International Cricket Council in the sport of cricket for the 9 nations that play Test cricket. The competition is notional in the sense that it is simply a ranking scheme overlaid on all international matches that are otherwise played as part of regular Test cricket scheduling.

In essence, after every Test series, the two teams involved receive points based on a mathematical formula. The total of each team's points total is divided by the total number of matches to give a 'rating', and the Test-playing teams are ranked by order of rating (this can be shown in a table).

The points for winning a Test match or series are greater than the team's rating, increasing the rating, and the points for losing the match or series are always less than the rating, reducing the rating. A drawn match between higher and lower rated teams will benefit the lower-rated team at the expense of the higher-rated team. An 'average' team that wins as often as it loses while playing a mix of stronger and weaker teams should have a rating of 100.

The International Cricket Council awards a trophy, the ICC Test Championship mace, to the team holding the highest rating. The mace is transferred whenever a new team moves to the top of the rating list. [1]

As of 24 December 2009, India lead the ICC Test Championship with a rating of 124, ahead of South Africa on 120 points and Australia on 116. The lowest rated team, Bangladesh, has the rating of 13.

Contents

Test championship calculations

The calculations for the table are performed as follows:

  • Each team scores points based on the results of their matches.
  • Each team's rating is equal to its total points scored divided by the total matches and series played. (A series must include at least two Tests).
  • A series only counts if played in the last three years.
  • Series played in the first two years of the three-year limit count half; essentially, recent matches are given more weight.
  • To determine a team's rating after a particular series:
    • Find the series result
      • Award 1 point to a team for each win
      • Award 1/2 point to a team for each draw
      • Award 1 bonus point to the team winning the series
      • Award 1/2 bonus point to each team if the series is drawn
    • Convert the series result to actual ratings points
      • If the gap between the ratings of the two teams at the commencement of the series is less than 40 points, then the ratings points for each team equals:
        • (The team's own series result) multiplied by (50 points MORE than the opponent's rating) PLUS
        • (The opponent's series result) multiplied by (50 points LESS than the opponent's rating)
      • If the gap between the ratings of the two teams at the commencement of the series is more than or equal to 40 points, then the ratings points for the stronger team equals:
        • (The team's own series result) multiplied by (10 points MORE than the team's own rating) PLUS
        • (The opponent's series result) multiplied by (90 points LESS than the team's own rating)
      • If the gap between the ratings of the two teams at the commencement of the series is more than or equal to 40 points, then the ratings points for the weaker team equals:
        • (The team's own series result) multiplied by (90 points MORE than the team's own rating) PLUS
        • (The opponent's series result) multiplied by (10 points LESS than the team's own rating)
    • Add the ratings points scored by the team to the total ratings points already scored (in previous matches, as reflected by the Table)
    • Update the number of matches played by the team through adding one more than the number of games in the series (a two test match series will result in the match count getting incremented by three)
    • Divide the new rating points with the updated number of matches to get the final rating.

Current rankings

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Main Test table

Rank Team Matches Points Rating
1  India 32 3957 124
2  South Africa 30 3672 122
3  Australia 35 4054 116
4  Sri Lanka 31 3574 115
5  England 39 4102 105
6  Pakistan 21 1744 83
7  New Zealand 29 2337 81
8  West Indies 29 2224 77
9  Bangladesh 19 255 13
Reference: ICC Rankings, 30 Dec 2009
  • Note: Zimbabwe has a rating of 12 but has not played a sufficient number of Test matches over the new rating period (since August 2004) to be included on the table. Zimbabwe has suspended its participation in Test cricket twice; first from June 10, 2004 to January 6, 2005 and then from January 18, 2006. They were scheduled to resume Test cricket in November 2007, but have yet to resume playing.

Historical Rankings

ICC Test Champions

Team Start End Total Months
 Australia June 2003 July 2009 73
 South Africa August 2009 November 2009 3
 India December 2009 - 1
Reference: ICC Rankings
  • Note: The ICC provides ratings for the end of each month back to June 2003. This table lists the teams that have successively held the highest rating since that date, by whole month periods.

Tournament format

For the past few years there has been speculation throughout the cricketing world that the ICC would introduce a Test Championship Tournament, similar to that of the World Cup, Champions Trophy, World Twenty20 and ICC Intercontinental Cup. As of October 2008, the ICC's official position is that they are considering the possibility but as yet no decision has been made.

See also

References

External links


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