ICC World Test Championship Introduces New Rules and Playing Conditions for 2019-21

Published 08/01/2019, 4:50 AM EDT
Lords cricket ground, London- Venue for the finals of ICC World Test Championship 2019-2021

The ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 begins today with The Ashes at Birmingham. Things like format, schedule, points distribution and the finals have been a subject of huge discussion since the tournament was announced. While all the ICC Men’s Test Match Playing Conditions Effective from 30 September 2018 will be followed, ICC have released a few new playing conditions for the ICC World Test Championship.


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Here’s what’s new at the World Test Championship-

Concussion substitutes-


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ICC have recently revealed that teams will be allowed to make a like-for-like replacement in case of a concussion on the ground. The substitution must take place under the following conditions-

  • The player must be diagnosed with a concussion suffered on the field of play by a team medical representative
  • A request for a substitute is put in within 36 hours of the incident
  • Teams must name a like-for-like replacement, to be approved by the ICC match referee
  • Once replaced, the concussed player may take no further part in the game

The decision to allow a particular player as a substitute solely rests with the match referee.

Abandoned match-

An abandoned match will be treated as a draw unless and until it was abandoned due to a fault in the pitch or the ground, in which case the home team will be penalised and their opponent will be declared as winners.

Decision Review System (DRS)-

While the option to use the DRS in a bilateral series previously remained with the teams involved, it is now mandatory for the DRS to be used in all matches that are a part of the ICC World Test Championship.

Over rate-

The latest ICC changes also included the a change in penalty system for slow over rates. The whole team will be charged a percentage of their match fees instead of the captain alone.

Though there is no fear of suspension for slow over rate, it will now affect the overall points in the Test Championship.

  • For each over a team is found to be short, a Penalty Over will be incurred
  • For each Penalty Over, there will be two points deducted from the team’s overall total in the Test Championship.


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Also, there have been new changes in a way that if a team bowls out the opponent in lesser number of overs, the over rate penalty will not be applicable.

  • When a side is bowled out in 60 overs or less, and the bowling team has not exceeded the over-rate limit, that innings will not be included in the bowling team’s match over-rate calculation.
  • When a side bowls out the opposition twice, and in doing so does not complete more than 120 overs in total, that team will be exempted from any over-rate penalties.
  • When a team doesn’t bowl more than 60 overs in a match, that team will be exempted from any over-rate penalties.

Teams level on points-


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There were a few voices raised on the net run rate rule when New Zealand finished above Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. But in the World Test Championship, the teams with more series wins will take the higher position in the table. If they are still level, runs per wicket ratio that is the runs scored per wicket lost divided by the runs conceded per wicket taken, will be considered.


Saketh Kandadai

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