World Cricket Championship final: India's hopes dashed by Boland and Lyon on day five
World Cricket Championship: Everything You Need to Know
Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in countries like India, Australia, England, Pakistan, and South Africa. It is a bat-and-ball game that involves two teams of eleven players each, who take turns to bat and bowl on a rectangular pitch in the center of a circular field. The objective of the game is to score more runs than the opposing team by hitting the ball with a wooden bat and running between two sets of wooden stumps at each end of the pitch.
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Cricket has three formats at the international level: Test matches, One-Day Internationals (ODIs), and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). Test matches are the longest and most traditional form of cricket, lasting up to five days and comprising two innings per team. ODIs are one-innings matches of 50 overs per side, lasting about eight hours. T20Is are the shortest and fastest form of cricket, lasting about three hours and comprising 20 overs per side.
The World Cricket Championship (WCC) is a tournament that determines the best Test team in the world. It was launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2019, with the aim of adding context and excitement to Test cricket. The WCC consists of a league phase, where nine teams play six series each over a two-year period, followed by a final between the top two teams at a neutral venue. The first edition of the WCC will conclude in June 2023, with Australia and India set to face each other in the final at The Oval in London.
How does the World Cricket Championship work?
The WCC follows a points system, where each team gets a certain number of points for winning, drawing, or tying a match or a series. The points vary depending on the number of matches in a series, ranging from 60 points for a two-match series to 24 points for a five-match series. A win is worth 100% of the available points, a tie is worth 50%, a draw is worth 33%, and a loss is worth zero. The team with the most points at the end of the league phase qualifies for the final.
The WCC also has some rules and regulations to ensure fair play and quality standards. For example, each team must play at least three home and three away series, with each series comprising at least two matches. Each match must have a minimum of 98 overs per day, with an extra half-hour available to complete them if needed. Each match must also have a reserve day to make up for any lost time due to bad weather or other interruptions.
Which teams are participating in the World Cricket Championship?
The WCC features nine teams that have Test status: Australia, India, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Bangladesh. These teams were selected based on their rankings as of March 31, 2018. Afghanistan and Ireland, who also have Test status but have not played enough matches to be ranked, are not part of the WCC.
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The current standings of the WCC as of May 2023 are as follows:
RankTeamSeries PlayedSeries WonSeries DrawnSeries LostMatches PlayedMatches Won What are the key players and records to watch out for?
The WCC showcases some of the best players in the world, who have the opportunity to make their mark on the history of Test cricket. Some of the key players to watch out for are:
Steve Smith: The Australian batsman is widely regarded as one of the best Test players of his generation, and the current number one ranked batsman in the WCC. He has scored 1,341 runs in 13 matches at an average of 74.50, with four centuries and seven fifties. He also holds the record for the most runs in a single WCC series, with 774 runs in four matches against England in 2019.
Virat Kohli: The Indian captain is one of the most prolific and consistent batsmen in the world, and the second-ranked batsman in the WCC. He has scored 1,032 runs in 12 matches at an average of 47.00, with three centuries and six fifties. He also holds the record for the most centuries as captain in Test cricket, with 20.
Kane Williamson: The New Zealand captain is one of the most elegant and classy batsmen in the world, and the third-ranked batsman in the WCC. He has scored 817 runs in nine matches at an average of 58.35, with three centuries and three fifties. He also holds the record for the highest individual score in the WCC, with 251 against West Indies in 2020.
Pat Cummins: The Australian fast bowler is the leading wicket-taker and the number one ranked bowler in the WCC. He has taken 70 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 21.02, with four five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket match. He also holds the record for the most wickets in a single WCC series, with 29 wickets in five matches against India in 2020-21.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The Indian spinner is the second-highest wicket-taker and the second-ranked bowler in the WCC. He has taken 67 wickets in 13 matches at an average of 20.88, with six five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket match. He also holds the record for the most wickets by a spinner in a single WCC series, with 32 wickets in four matches against England in 2021.
James Anderson: The English swing bowler is one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, and the third-highest wicket-taker and the third-ranked bowler in the WCC. He has taken 52 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 22.50, with three five-wicket hauls. He also holds the record for the most wickets by a fast bowler in Test cricket, with 616.
What are the benefits and challenges of the World Cricket Championship?
The WCC has been hailed as a positive step for Test cricket, as it provides a clear structure and incentive for teams to play more competitively and consistently. Some of the benefits of the WCC are:
Context and relevance: The WCC gives every match and series a meaning and a purpose, as teams vie for points and a place in the final. This creates more interest and excitement among fans and players alike, as every session and every ball matters.
Quality and balance: The WCC encourages teams to play their best cricket and improve their skills and strategies across different conditions and opponents. It also creates a level playing field for all teams, as they have to play both home and away series against different opponents.
Prestige and recognition: The WCC offers teams a chance to prove themselves as the best Test team in the world, and to earn respect and admiration from their peers and fans. It also offers players a chance to showcase their talents and achievements on a global stage, and to create lasting memories and records.
However, the WCC also faces some challenges and criticisms, such as:
Schedule and format: The WCC has been criticized for being too long and complicated, as it spans over two years and involves nine teams playing six series each. Some have argued that it should be shorter and simpler, with fewer teams playing more series each.
Points system and fairness: The WCC has been criticized for being unfair and inconsistent, as it awards different points for different series and matches, and does not take into account the relative strength and performance of the teams. Some have argued that it should have a uniform points system, or a weighted ranking system, that reflects the quality and difficulty of each m