The ICC have released the playing conditions for the inaugural World Test Championship, which begins on August 1 with the first Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston. Here's what's new.
Separating teams level on points
If at the end of the group stage, two or more teams are level on points, the team with more series wins will take the higher spot on the table. If they are level on that front, runs-per-wicket ratio - defined as runs scored per wicket lost, divided by runs conceded per wicket taken - will be factored in.
An abandoned match will be treated as a draw. But if the match is abandoned because of an unfit pitch or outfield, the home team will be penalised, and points for a win will be awarded to the visiting side.
Over rates will be calculated the same way in which it is currently used, with an expectation of 15 overs per hour. However, the playing conditions have introduced some new exclusions for when a team bowls out a side quickly or does not bowl more than 60 overs in the match.
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 exempt from any over-rate penalties.
When a team doesn't bowl more than 60 overs in a match, that team will be exempt from any over-rate penalties.
As previously announced, captains will no longer bear a bigger brunt for slow over-rates than the rest of the members of his team, and there will be no danger of suspension for being behind the required rate. Instead, all players will face equal fines, and teams will lose WTC points if they are found to be behind the rate.
For each over a team is found to be short, a Penalty Over will be incurred
For each Penalty Over, there will be two WTC points deducted from the team's total
All players will be fined the same as the captain for over-rate offences - 20% of their match fee per Penalty Over, up to a maximum of 100%
There will be no escalation in penalties for repeat offences
As revealed earlier this month, teams will be able to replace players who suffer concussions on the field of play with a like-for-like replacement. For this to happen, the following conditions must be met.
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
Like-for-like replacements will be at the discretion of the match referee, to ensure a team doesn't change the balance of their team through a substitution. For example, a fast bowler should replace a fast bowler, except when the team only has a batting innings remaining, where a spin bowler of similar batting ability would be considered a like-for-like replacement. The match referee may place restrictions on the role a substitute can play. For example, if an allrounder replaces a batsman in the side, the replacement will not be allowed to bowl.
Decision Review System
DRS will be mandatory for all matches.
The World Test Championship final will be played from June 10-14 2021, with a reserve day available. If the final is tied or drawn, the title will be shared.
The full World Test Championship Final Playing Conditions will be announced in early 2021.