May 21, 2003

ICC Test Championship preview: England must win 2-0 to improve its rating

England's two match npower series with Zimbabwe starting on 22nd May 2003 is the first Test Match series to count towards the re-launched ICC Test Championship.

Under the new system of calculation, England needs to win the series 2-0 to improve its rating. A 1-0 win will keep England's rating unchanged on 97 while a draw will cause it to fall to 95.

If it loses the series 2-0 England will narrowly hold on to fifth place in the table. This outcome would give Zimbabwe's rating a massive boost to 67 and even a tied series would extend its lead over Bangladesh by four points.

The ICC Test Championship table, 21st May 2003

(prev pos in brackets)
Team Rating
1 (1) Australia 129
2 (2) South Africa 115
3 (3) New Zealand 103
4 (4) Sri Lanka 101
5 (5) England 97
6 (6) India 91
7 (8) Pakistan 91
8 (7) West Indies 79
9 (9) Zimbabwe 59
10 (10) Bangladesh 4

Full scenarios for England v Zimbabwe Test series:

Current rating
New rating if:
- England wins by 2 Tests (2-0)
- England wins by 1 Test
- Series tied (0-0 or 1-1)
- Zimbabwe wins by 1 Test (1-0)
- Zimbabwe wins by 2 Tests (2-0)

Clive Lloyd from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Referees will officiate on the series. David Orchard from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires will stand in both matches alongside Steve Bucknor in the first Test and Darrell Hair in the second Test.

Explanation of the ICC Test Championship:

The new ICC Test Championship takes into account the result of every individual Test Match with a bonus awarded for winning a series. It also recognises the strength of the opposition in calculating the points awarded.

The system means that there are no longer any `dead rubber' Test Matches and that in any series both teams have the opportunity to improve or worsen their rating.

The ICC Test Championship reflects performances in all Tests completed since a given date (currently 1st August 1999), in contrast to the previous system which included some series played in 1996/97 yet excluded some more recent series. More recent matches have a stronger weighting and the rankings are refreshed every August.

A rating of 100 reflects average performance, so a team winning and losing a similar number of matches and playing a broad mix of opponents will have a rating close to 100.

For the up-to-date ICC Test Championship table plus full scenarios for forthcoming series and details of the formula for calculating ratings visit the official ICC website

Brendan McClements Jon Long
General Manager - Corporate Affairs Project Officer - Corporate Affairs
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