Australia virtually out of ICC World Test Championship's final contention

Australian captain Tim Paine
Australian cricket team is virtually out of ICC World Test Championship’s final race after its tour to South Africa was postponed due to rising Covid-19 cases in the host nation. The final of World Test Championship (WTC) is scheduled to take place on June 18-22 at Lord’s cricket ground in London. The top two teams in the points table will make the final.


Australia was scheduled to travel to South Africa later this month and play a three-match Test series.


However, with the host nation battling a second wave of Covid-19 and a new variant of the virus, Cricket Australia's (CA) interim chief executive Nick Hockley on Tuesday said travelling to South Africa is not possible given the current scenario.


"...following extensive due diligence with medical experts it has become clear that travelling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community," Hockley said in a statement. 

What is ICC World Test Championship?


The International Cricket Council (ICC) launched the inaugural World Test Championship on July 30, 2019. The two-year affair comprises top nine Test teams-- Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies -- who would have been competed in 71 matches if Covid-19 pandemic has not halted all the activities. The first Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston marked the inaugural game of the event.

Check ICC Test championship latest news, schedule here

ICC World Test championship final qualification scenario

Australia, currently third in the WTC points table behind India and New Zealand. Australia needed to win two Tests in South Africa and prevent its hosts from winning one, to ensure a spot in the inaugural WTC decider at Lord’s. For Australia to have a chance at qualification, India and England will need to draw at least two matches of the Four-Test series, starting February 5 at Chepauk Stadium, Chennai.



ICC World Test Championship points table

Rank Team PCT Points Series Matches Won Lost Drawn
1 India 71.70% 430 5 13 9 3 1
2 New Zealand 70.00% 420 5 11 7 4 0
3 Australia 69.20% 332 4 14 8 4 2
4 England 68.70% 412 5 17 10 4 3
5 Pakistan 37.70% 226 5.5* 11 3 5 3
6 South Africa 34.30% 144 4* 10 3 7 0
7 Sri Lanka 16.70% 80 4 8 1 6 1
8 West Indies 11.10% 40 3 7 1 6 0
9 Bangladesh 0.00% 0 1.5 3 0 3 0

How Covid-19 has affected South Africa and Australia cricket boards

This is the second series to be postponed in South Africa due to Covid-19. Last year, England had pulled out of its tour midway through an ODI series after there was an outbreak of cases in the team hotel.


Australia had also postponed its tour of Bangladesh last year. New dates for the Bangladesh or South Africa tours are yet to be announced.

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