International Cricket, as we know it today, started from the 1st ever Test match between Australia and England back in 1877. Slowly and steadily, other countries were awarded the Test status. With the invention of ODI cricket in the 1970s, more and more nations were awarded International status.
As of today, there are currently 12 Test playing nations – which are full members of the ICC – with Ireland and Afghanistan being the latest countries to have been awarded the Test status in 2018. India, Australia and England are considered the Big 3 nations on the world stage. The other nations include South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh.
The World Test Championship is currently going on among the 9 top Test-playing nations – that’s all the Test-playing nations excluding Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Afghanistan.
In the ODI format, all the 12 Test-playing nations have a permanent ODI status. ICC awards associate membership to some nations and based on their performances in the ICC World Cup qualifiers, their status gets elevated to a permanent one.
There are currently 8 associate nations, including Scotland, UAE, Nepal, Netherlands, Namibia, Oman, Papua New Guinea, and the United States. ICC also grants special status to teams participating in World events such as the ODI World Cup so that those matches will be considered as ODIs.
As far as T20Is are concerned, ICC recently decided to extend the T20I status to all the 104 member nations – 12 full members and 92 associate members.
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Test cricket has always been played bilaterally with matches ranging from 1 to 7 in a series although there were rare exceptions such as the Asian Test Championship played among India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1998. The recent World Test Championship has added a bigger context to the bilateral Test matches where each team will be judged on 6 series – 3 home and 3 away series – and the top two teams will play the first World Test Championship final in June later this year.
There is a concept of perpetual trophies in Test cricket which oscillates between the teams involved. The most famous of those is the Ashes played among England and Australia. It’s a 5-match Test series. Other notable examples are Border-Gavaskar Trophy – generally a 4-match Test series – played between India and Australia, the Trans-Tasman trophy – either 2 or 3 match series – played between Australia and New Zealand. Then, there’s Basil D’Oliveira Trophy – a 3 to 4-match Test series played between South Africa and England.
Apart from the Ashes and, on occasion, India-England series, no other series consists of 5 Test matches. The Big-3 – India, Australia and England – are awarded longer Test series whereas South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and others generally play 2-3 match Test series.
ODIs used to have many triangular and quadrangular tournaments, but those have also been mostly played as a bilateral series. With the advent of the more attractive T20 format, the number of ODIs being played per series has been reduced considerably over the past few years.
The relevance of ODIs increases closer to the ODI World Cup. Barring the World Cups, the teams generally play 3 ODIs in a series. The 5-match ODI series has been a rare instance these days. The latest 5-match ODI series that happened was between England and Pakistan just before the 2019 ODI World Cup.
The shortest format, the T20 cricket, has proved beneficial to the organizers and is being focused more and more. The World T20s are being organized more frequently now and thus the international teams want to play more T20 cricket. Though a T20I series generally happen with 3 to 5 match each series, a 5-match T20I series is not a very uncommon scenario these days. India played a 5-match T20I against New Zealand in January 2020 just before the pandemic stopped cricket. With the World T20 in India approaching soon, you will see more T20Is played in the remainder of this year.
ICC was formed by representatives of England, Australia and South Africa in 1909. It was called the Imperial Cricket Conference back then. The name changed to International Cricket Conference in 1965 and then to International Cricket Council in 1989. ICC is the governing body of international cricket. Currently, it has 12 full members and 92 associate members.
ICC is the governing and organizing body for cricket around the globe. Although MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) are the custodians of the Laws of cricket, ICC can tweak the rules and publish them in the form of playing conditions to be followed for all the formats of cricket. ICC is also responsible for appointing match officials, umpires and referees needed for International matches.
ICC decides FTP (Future Tour Programs) for cricketing nations and also organizes and manages the world events such as ODI World Cup, World T20, and World Test Championship etc.
ICC is also responsible for keeping the game clean using ACSU – the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. This unit helps co-ordinate the efforts against match/spot-fixing and other corruptions involved in the game.
ICC has no control over domestic cricket of the cricketing nations. It also holds no responsibility for the bilateral fixtures between two nations including Test matches unless the matches are part of World Championship.
ICC regularly updates the player and team rankings in international cricket formats. The team rankings are released separately for Test, ODI and T20I teams whereas the player rankings include batsmen, bowler and all-rounder rankings for each of these three formats.
ICC Player Rankings are a moving average calculated for each player based on their performances and current ratings. The rating happens on a scale of 1 t o1000. If a player performs better than his current rating, his points go up. Instead, if he performs poorly compared to the current rating the points go down.
It’s an automated algorithm without any manual intervention that considers many factors before rating a player.
As far as ICC Team Rankings are concerned, they are calculated based on the algorithm developed by David Kendix. It is determined by the points scored by the total number of match or series – kind of like batting average only here the points are considered instead of runs and dismissals are replaced a total number of match or series.
|Position Test Cricket Rankings||Team||Matches||Points||Rating|
|Position ODI Cricket Rankings||Team||Matches||Points||Rating|
|Position T20i Rankings||Team||Matches||Points||Rating|