New Delhi 15 June: Australia will begin their defence of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) title in a series against England.

The five-match Ashes series begins in Birmingham on Friday with Lord’s, Leeds, Manchester and The Oval hosting the remaining matches.

Australia plays nine matches in this cycle away from home, which include two-Test series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.At home, they play against India (five), Pakistan (three) and the West Indies (two), for a total of 10 Tests.

England feature in 10 Tests at home and 11 away. They host the West Indies (3) and Sri Lanka (2) apart from Australia, while playing away in India (five), Pakistan (3) and New Zealand (3).

India’s two-Test tour of the West Indies, where they play in Dominica and Trinidad next month, is also part of the third edition of the WTC.

The structure of the nine-team WTC remains the same with each team playing three home and three away series over a two-year period culminating in the final of a one-off Test. The points percentage system used in the previous edition will determine the leaderboard with teams getting 12 points for a win, six for a tie and four for a draw.

The series in the championship remains as per the FTP announced last year. 

According to ICC’s General Manager of Cricket Wasim Khan the WTC had been great in enhancing interest in Test cricket and wished players all the best ahead of the new cycle.

“The third edition of the ICC World Test Championship begins on Friday with another highly anticipated series between England and Australia." he said adding: “This championship has invigorated Test match cricket, bringing context for players and fans, and a high level of competitiveness as teams battle it out to be crowned World Test Champions at the end of the two-year cycle.

“The big turnout out at The Oval over the five days and the incredible viewership levels across the globe for the final is testimony to the continued popularity of Test cricket. he added  

Captains Ben Stokes of England and Pat Cummins of Australia said they were excited and hoped to start well. “We are looking forward to the new cycle of the World Test Championship, and hope we get off to a good start." said Ben Stokes:

“The Ashes combined with World Test Championship points makes it an intriguing series against Australia. I am sure fans worldwide will be following the proceedings with eagerness. We are excited, for what the English summer holds.”

Pat Cummins: “It has been a very enjoyable and rewarding journey through this World Test Championship and we very much look forward to the next cycle. It was a goal of ours to reach the final and the fact we were able to win is a great outcome for the group." 


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