ISLAMABAD – The International Cricket Council on Monday officially launched the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC).

Getting underway on Thursday, the WTC will see the top nine Test teams in the world – Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies – compete in 71 Test matches across 27 series (three home and three away), played over two years.

The top two teams at the end will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final in the UK in June 2021 with the winner crowned World Test Champions.

The WTC has been introduced to bring context to bilateral Test cricket. Every game in a series will count for points as the world’s best teams go head to head. The WTC honours the importance of the longest format of the game and ensures a pinnacle event for the format just as the World Cups for men and women in the ODI and T20I formats.