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Test cricket is the form of the sport of
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
with the longest match duration and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national representative teams that have been granted Test status, as determined and conferred by the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
(ICC). It is called ''Test'' because the long, gruelling matches are mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-
innings An innings is one of the divisions of a cricket match during which one team takes its turn to batting (cricket), bat. Innings also means the period in which an individual player bats (acts as either striker or nonstriker). Innings, in cricket, a ...
match, which may last up to five days (or more in the past). It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability.< The first officially recognised Test match took place between 15 and 19 March 1877 and was played between England and Australia at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known locally as "The 'G", is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park Yarra Park (35.469 hectares) is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, the premier sporting precin ...

Melbourne Cricket Ground
(MCG). In October 2012, the ICC recast the playing conditions for Test matches, permitting day/night Test matches. The first day/night game took place between
Australia and New Zealand Australasia is a region which comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands. The term is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiogeographically, and ecologically where the term covers several sl ...
at the
Adelaide Oval Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, ...
,
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
, on 27 November – 1 December 2015.


Early history

Sides designated as "England" began to play in the late 18th century, but these teams were not truly representative. Early international cricket was disrupted by the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
and the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
. The earliest international cricket match was between the United States and Canada, on 24 and 25 September 1844. This has never been officially considered a "Test match". Tours of national English sides abroad took place, particularly to the US, Australia and New Zealand. The
Australian Aboriginal Aboriginal Australians are the various Indigenous peoples of the Mainland Australia, Australian mainland and many of its islands, such as Tasmania, Fraser Island, Hinchinbrook Island, the Tiwi Islands, and Groote Eylandt, but excluding the Tor ...
team became the first organised overseas cricketers to tour England in
1868 Events January–March * January 2 – British Expedition to Abyssinia: Robert Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala, Robert Napier leads an expedition to free captive British officials and missionaries. * January 3 – The 1 ...
. Two rival English tours of Australia were proposed in the early months of 1877, with
James Lillywhite James Lillywhite (23 February 1842 – 25 October 1929) was an English Test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities Arts and ...

James Lillywhite
campaigning for a professional tour and
Fred Grace George Frederick Grace (13 December 1850 – 22 September 1880) was an English first-class cricketer active from 1866 to 1880 who played for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Gloucestershire and the United South of England Eleven (USEE). He ...
for an amateur one. Grace's tour fell through and it was Lillywhite's team that toured New Zealand and Australia in 1876–77. Two matches against a combined Australian XI were later classified as the first official Test matches. The first match was won by Australia, by 45 runs and the second by England. After reciprocal tours established a pattern of international cricket,
The Ashes The Ashes is a Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is ...

The Ashes
was established as a competition during the Australian tour of England in 1882. A surprise victory for Australia inspired a mock obituary of English cricket to be published in the ''Sporting Times'' the following day: the phrase "The body shall be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia" prompted the subsequent creation of the Ashes urn. The series of 1884–85 was the first to be held over five matches: England player
Alfred Shaw Alfred Shaw (29 August 1842 – 16 January 1907) was an eminent Victorian cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two oppo ...
, writing in 1901, considered the side to be "the best ever to have left England". South Africa became the third team to play Test cricket in 1888–89, when they hosted a tour by an under-strength England side.


Test status

Test matches are the highest level of cricket, played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the
International Cricket Council The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
. , twelve national teams have Test status, the most recently promoted being Afghanistan and Ireland on 22 June 2017.


Teams with Test status

Test status is conferred upon a country or group of countries by the ICC. There are currently twelve men's teams that have been granted this status: international teams that do not have Test status can play
first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is one of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to b ...
in the
ICC Intercontinental Cup The ICC Intercontinental Cup was a first-class cricket tournament organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of its cricket development programme. It was designed to allow List of International Cricket Council members, Associa ...
, under conditions which are similar to Tests. The teams with Test status (with the date of each team's Test debut) are: # ( 15 March 1877) # ( 15 March 1877) # ( 12 March 1889) # ( 23 June 1928) # ( 10 January 1930) # ( 25 June 1932) # ( 16 October 1952) # ( 17 February 1982) # ( 18 October 1992) # ( 10 November 2000) # ( 11 May 2018) # ( 14 June 2018) Nine of these teams represent independent sovereign nations: the England cricket team represents the constituent countries of
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
, the West Indies is a combined team from fifteen Caribbean nations and territories, and Ireland represents both the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
. Following the
D'Oliveira affair The D'Oliveira affair was a prolonged political and sporting controversy relating to the scheduled 1968–69 tour of South Africa by the England cricket team, who were officially representing the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The point of cont ...
in 1969,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
was suspended from all forms of cricket from 1970 until the end of the in
1991 It was the final year of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, bu ...
. Zimbabwe's Test status was voluntarily suspended in 2006 because of very poor performances, but its Test status was reinstated in August 2011. The ICC has made several proposals to reform the system of granting Test status, including having two tiers with
promotion and relegation In sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve p ...
, and/or a
play-off The playoffs, play-offs, postseason or finals of a sports league are a competition played after the regular season by the top competitors to determine the league champion or a similar accolade. Depending on the league, the playoffs may be eithe ...
between the winners of the
ICC Intercontinental Cup The ICC Intercontinental Cup was a first-class cricket tournament organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of its cricket development programme. It was designed to allow List of International Cricket Council members, Associa ...
and the team with the lowest Test ranking. These proposals have not been successful as of 2021.


Statistics

For statistical purposes, Tests are considered to be a subset of
first-class cricket First-class cricket is the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is one of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to b ...
. Performances in first-class matches count towards only the first-class statistical record, but performances in Test matches count towards both the Test statistics and the first-class statistics. Statisticians have developed criteria to determine which matches count as Tests if they were played before the formal definition of Test status. The first list of matches considered to be "Tests" was drawn up by Australian Clarence Moody in the mid-1890s. Representative matches played by simultaneous England touring sides of 1891–92 ( in Australia and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
) and 1929–30 ( in the West Indies and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...
) are deemed to have Test status. In 1970, a series of five "Test matches" was played in England between England and a Rest of the World XI: these matches, originally scheduled between England and South Africa, were amended after South Africa was suspended from international cricket due to their government's
apartheid Apartheid (South African English South African English (SAfrE, SAfrEng, SAE, en-ZA) is the set of English language dialects native to South Africans. History British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * B ...

apartheid
policies. Although initially given Test status and included as Test matches in some record books, including ''
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'', or simply ''Wisden'', colloquially the Bible of Cricket, is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom. The description "bible of cricket" was first used in the 1930s by Alec Waugh in a ...
'', this was later withdrawn, and a principle was established that official Test matches can only be between nations (note that the geographically and demographically small countries of the West Indies have, since 1928, fielded a coalition side). Despite this principle, in 2005, the ICC ruled that the six-day
Super Series The Super Series were exhibition games between Soviet teams and NHL teams that took place on each NHL opponents' home ice in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the ...
match that took place that October between Australia and a World XI was an official Test match: some cricket writers and statisticians, including
Bill Frindall William Howard Frindall, (3 March 1939 – 29 January 2009) was an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...
, have ignored the ICC's ruling and exclude this match from their records. The series of "Test matches" played in Australia between Australia and a World XI in 1971–72, and the commercial "
Supertests World Series Cricket (WSC) was a commercial professional cricket competition staged between 1977 and 1979 which was organised by Kerry Packer and his Australian television network, Nine Network. WSC ran in commercial competition to established ...
" organised by
Kerry Packer Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer (17 December 1937 – 26 December 2005) was an Australian media tycoon, and was considered one of Australia's most powerful media proprietors of the twentieth century. The Packer family The Packer family has p ...
as part of his
World Series Cricket World Series Cricket (WSC) was a commercial professional cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, p ...
enterprise played between "WSC Australia", "WSC World XI" and "WSC West Indies" from 1977 to 1979, have never been regarded as official Test matches as of 2021.


Conduct of the game


Playing time

A standard day of Test cricket consists of three sessions of two hours each, the break between sessions being 40 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for tea. However, the times of sessions and intervals may be altered in certain circumstances: if bad weather or a change of innings occurs close to a scheduled break, the break may be taken immediately; if there has been a loss of playing time, for example because of bad weather, the session times may be adjusted to make up the lost time; if the batting side is nine
wickets In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings: * It is one of the two sets of three Stump (cricket), stumps and two Bail (cricket), bails at either end of the Cricket pitch, pitch. The Fielding (cricket), fielding team's players can hit the ...
down at the scheduled tea break, then the interval may be delayed until either 30 minutes has elapsed or the team is ''all out''; the final session may be extended by up to 30 minutes if 90 or more
overs In cricket, an over consists of six consecutive legal delivery (cricket), deliveries bowling (cricket), bowled from one end of a cricket pitch to the player batting at the other end, almost always by a single bowler. A maiden over is an over in ...
have not been
bowled In cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending team throws a ba ...
in that day's play (subject to any reduction for adverse weather); the final session may be extended by 30 minutes (except on the 5th day) if the umpires believe the result can be decided within that time. Today, Test matches are scheduled to be played across five consecutive days. However, in the early days of Test cricket, matches were played for three or four days. Four-day Test matches were last played in 1973, between New Zealand and Pakistan. Until the 1980s, it was usual to include a 'rest day,' often a Sunday. There have also been '
Timeless TestA timeless Test is a match of Test cricket'' Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national representative teams t ...
s', which have no predetermined maximum time. In 2005, Australia played a match scheduled for six days against a World XI, which the ICC sanctioned as an official Test match, though the match reached a conclusion on the fourth day. In October 2017, the ICC approved a request for a four-day Test match, between South Africa and Zimbabwe, which started on 26 December 2017 and ended on the second day, 27 December. The ICC trialed the four-day Test format until the
2019 Cricket World Cup The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup was the 12th Cricket World Cup The Cricket World Cup (officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup) is the international championship The International Championship is a professional Snooker world rankings ...
. In December 2019,
Cricket Australia Cricket Australia (CA), formerly known as the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia. It was originally formed in 1905 as the 'Australian Board of Control for International Crick ...
were considering playing four-day Tests, subject to consensus with other Test nations. Later the same month, the ICC considered the possibility of making four-day Test matches mandatory for the
ICC World Test Championship The ICC World Test Championship is a league competition for Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played be ...
from 2023. There have been attempts by the ICC, the sport's governing body, to introduce day-night Test matches. In 2012, the International Cricket Council passed playing conditions that allowed for the staging of day-night Test matches. The first day-night Test took place during New Zealand's tour to Australia in November 2015.


Play

Test cricket is played in ''innings'' (the word denotes both the singular and the plural). In each innings, one team
bats Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meanin ...
and the other
bowls Bowls, or lawn bowls, is a sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each othe ...
(or
fields File:A NASA Delta IV Heavy rocket launches the Parker Solar Probe (29097299447).jpg, FIELDS heads into space in August 2018 as part of the ''Parker Solar Probe'' FIELDS is a science instrument on the ''Parker Solar Probe'' (PSP), designed to mea ...
). Ordinarily four innings are played in a Test match, and each team bats twice and bowls twice. Before the start of play on the first day, the two team captains and the match referee toss a coin; the captain who wins the toss decides whether his team will bat or bowl first. In the following scenarios, the team that bats first is referred to as ''Team A'' and their opponents as ''Team B''. Usually the teams will alternate at the completion of each innings. Thus, Team A will bat (and Team B will bowl) until its innings ends, and then Team B will bat and Team A will bowl. When Team B's innings ends, Team A begin their second innings, and this is followed by Team B's second innings. The winning team is the one that scores more runs in their two innings. A team's innings ends in one of the following ways: * The team is "all out". This typically occurs when a team has lost ten wickets (ten of the eleven batsmen having been
dismissed Dismissal or dismissed may refer to: Dismissal *In litigation, a dismissal is the result of a successful ''motion to dismiss''. See motion (legal), motion *Termination of employment, the end of employee's duration with an employer **Dismissal (e ...
) and are "bowled out". It may occasionally occur with the loss of fewer wickets if one or more batsmen are unavailable to bat (through injury, for example). * The team's captain declares the innings closed, usually because they believe they have enough runs. A declaration before the innings starts is called an innings forfeiture. * The team batting fourth score the required number of runs to win. * The prescribed time for the match expires. If, at the completion of Team B's first innings, Team A leads by at least 200 runs, the captain of Team A may (but is not required to) order Team B to have ''their'' second innings next. This is called enforcing the
follow on In the game of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action starts when the defending te ...
. In this case, the usual order of the third and fourth innings is reversed: Team A will bat in the fourth innings. It is rare for a team forced to follow on to win the match. In Test cricket it has only happened three times, although over 285 follow-ons have been enforced: Australia was the losing team on each occasion, twice to England, in 1894 and in 1981, and once to India in 2001. If the whole of the first day's play of a Test match has been lost because of bad weather or other reasons like bad light, then Team A may enforce the follow on if Team B's first innings total is 150 or more fewer than Team A's. During the 2nd Test between England and New Zealand at
Headingley Headingley is a suburb A suburb (or suburban area or suburbia) is a commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Televis ...
in 2013, England batted first after the first day was lost because of rain. New Zealand, batting second, scored 180 runs fewer than England, meaning England could have enforced the follow on, though chose not to. This is similar to four-day first-class cricket, where the follow on can be enforced if the difference is 150 runs or more fewer. If the Test is 2 days or fewer then the "follow-on" value is 100 runs. After 80 overs, the captain of the bowling side may take a
new ball A cricket ball is a hard, solid ball used to play cricket. A cricket ball consists of a cork (material), cork core wound with String (structure), string then a leather cover stitched on, and manufacture is regulated by cricket law at first-clas ...

new ball
, although this is not required. The captain will usually take the new ball: being harder and smoother than an old ball, a new ball generally favours faster bowlers who can make it bounce more variably. The roughened, softer surface of an old ball can be more conducive to spin bowlers, or those using
reverse swing Swing bowling is a technique used for bowling (cricket), bowling in the sport of cricket. Practitioners are known as swing bowler (cricket), bowlers. Swing bowling is generally classed as a subtype of fast bowling. The aim of swing bowling is ...
. The captain may delay the decision to take the new ball if he wishes to continue with his spinners (because the pitch favours spin). After a new ball has been taken, should an innings last a further 80 overs, then the captain will have the option to take another new ball. A Test match will produce a
result A result (also called upshot) is the final consequence of a sequence In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes a ...
by means of one of six scenarios: *All four innings are complete. The team batting fourth are ''all out'' before overtaking the other team, usually before matching the other team's score. The team that batted third are the winners by a margin equal to the difference in the aggregate runs scored by the two teams (for example, "Team A won by 95 runs"). Very rarely (in over 2,000 Test matches played, it has only happened twice) the scores can end level, resulting in a
tie Tie has two principal meanings: * Tie (draw) A draw or tie occurs in a competitive sport Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a gro ...
. *The team batting in the fourth innings overtakes the opposing team's run total. The match ends, and the team batting fourth is the winner by a margin equal to the number of wickets still to fall in the innings (for example, "Team B won by five wickets"). *The third innings concludes with the team that batted twice still trailing the team that batted once. The match ends without playing a fourth innings. The team that batted only once is the winner by a margin equal to "an innings" plus the difference in aggregate run totals of the teams (for example, "Team A won by an innings and 26 runs"). *Time for the match expires without a result being reached. This usually occurs at the end of the last day of the match. The result is a
draw Draw, drawing, draws, or drawn may refer to: Common uses * Draw (terrain), a terrain feature formed by two parallel ridges or spurs with low ground in between them * Drawing (manufacturing), a process where metal, glass, or plastic or anything e ...
: there is no winner, no matter how superior the position of one of the sides. Rain causing a loss of playing time is a common factor in drawn matches, although matches may be drawn even without interference from the weather: usually as a result of poor time management or an intentional effort on the part of one team to avoid losing. *The match is abandoned because the ground is declared unfit for play. This has occurred three times, resulting each time in a draw being declared: England v Australia at
Headingley Headingley is a suburb A suburb (or suburban area or suburbia) is a commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Televis ...
,
Leeds Leeds is the largest city in the county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publis ...

Leeds
, 1975 (vandalism); West Indies v England at
Sabina Park Sabina may refer to: Places and jurisdictions * Sabina (region) Sabina (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
,
Kingston, Jamaica Kingston is the Capital (political), capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long spit (landform), sand spit which connects the town of Port ...
, 1998 (dangerous ground); West Indies v England at
Sir Vivian Richards Stadium Sir Vivian Richards Stadium is a stadium in North Sound, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda. It was built for use in the 2007 Cricket World Cup where it hosted Super 8 matches. The stadium usually caters for 10,000 people, but temporary seating double ...

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium
,
Antigua Antigua ( ), also known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor; nl, Kleine Antillen ...

Antigua
, 2009 (dangerous ground). *The match is awarded through a forfeiture. If a team refuses to take the field of play, the umpires may award the match to the opposing team. This has only happened once in Test cricket, in the 2006 fourth Test between England and Pakistan.


Competitions


Tours

Test cricket is almost always played as a series of matches between two countries, with all matches in the series taking place in the same country (the host). Often there is a perpetual trophy that is awarded to the winner, the most famous of which is
the Ashes The Ashes is a Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is ...

the Ashes
contested between England and Australia. There have been two exceptions to the bilateral nature of Test cricket: the
1912 Triangular Tournament The 1912 Triangular Tournament was a Test cricket competition played between Australia national cricket team, Australia, England cricket team, England and South Africa national cricket team, South Africa, the only Test-playing nations at the time. ...
, a three-way competition between England, Australia and South Africa (hosted by England), and the
Asian Test Championship The ACC Asian Test Championship was a professional Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, ...
, an event held in 1998–99 and 2001–02. The number of matches in Test series has varied from one to seven. Up until the early 1990s, Test series between international teams were organised between the two national cricket organisations with
umpires An umpire is an official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/o ...
provided by the home team. With the entry of more countries into Test cricket, and a wish by the ICC to maintain public interest in Tests in the face of the popularity of
one-day cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of wh ...
, a rotation system was introduced that sees all ten Test teams playing each other over a six-year cycle, and an official
ranking system A ranking is a relationship between a set of items such that, for any two items, the first is either "ranked higher than", "ranked lower than" or "ranked equal to" the second. In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) include ...
(with a trophy held by the highest-ranked team). In this system, umpires are provided by the ICC. An elite panel of eleven umpires was maintained since 2002, and the panel is supplemented by an additional International Panel that includes three umpires named by each Test-playing country. The elite umpires officiate almost all Test matches, though usually not Tests involving their home country.


Perpetual trophies

Several pairs of Test teams have established perpetual trophies which are competed for whenever teams play each other in Test series.


International Test rankings

The twelve Test-playing nations are currently ranked as follows:


World Test Championship

A league competition for Test cricket began in 2019–21. Arranged as a bilateral series in various countries with one team as host and another team as visitor. The length of each series varies between 2 and 5 matches. Ireland, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan are not taking part in this competition, but instead play a program of Test matches with each other and other teams during the same period.


Final results


Popularity

It has been suggested that Test cricket may be losing popularity, particularly in the face of the advent of
short form cricket Short form cricket is a collective term for several modified forms of the sport of cricket, with playing times significantly shorter than more traditional forms of the game. A typical short form cricket match can be completed within two to three h ...
. Day/night Test matches have been suggested as one way to address this problem. However, the lack of popularity has been disputed, with a
Marylebone Cricket Club Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's Cricket Ground Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played betw ...
poll showing that 86% of all cricket fans support Test cricket, more than any other format.


See also

*
Toss (cricket) In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricke ...
*
ICC Test Championship The ICC Men's Test Team Rankings (formerly known as the ICC Test Championship) is an international rankings system of the International Cricket Council for the 12 teams that play Test cricket (though Afghanistan national cricket team, Afghanist ...
*
ICC World Test Championship The ICC World Test Championship is a league competition for Test cricket Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played be ...
*
List of Test cricket grounds One hundred and twenty-one Ground (cricket), grounds have hosted Test cricket since the first officially recognised Test match between Australia and England in Melbourne in March 1877. The grounds are listed in the order in which they were first ...
*
List of Test cricket records Test cricket is played between international cricket teams who are List of International Cricket Council members#Full Members, Full Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Unlike One Day Internationals, Test matches consist of t ...
*
List of Test cricketers Afghanistan :''See also List of Afghanistan Test cricketers'' Asghar Afghan Mohammad Asghar Afghan ( ps, محمد اصغر افغان), (formerly Mohammad Asghar Stanikzai) and also known as Asghar Salamkhail (), is an Afghan cricket, crickete ...
*
One Day International A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket Limited overs cricket, also known as one-day cricket, is a version of the sport of cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball ga ...
*
Twenty20 International A Twenty20 International (T20I) is a form of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a w ...
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Timeless TestA timeless Test is a match of Test cricket'' Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national representative teams t ...
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Major League Cricket Major League Cricket (MLC) is an upcoming professional Twenty20 cricket league in the United States. Operated by American Cricket Enterprises (ACE) and sanctioned by USA Cricket, it plans to begin play in 2023, with six teams in major U.S. citie ...


References


Bibliography

*''Ground Rules – A Celebration of Test Cricket'', Barney Spender & David Gower, Dakini Books Ltd (Nov 2003), *''The Wisden Book of Test Cricket'', Sir Donald Bradman (Foreword), Bill Frindall (Editor), Headline Book Publishing (1995), *Marylebone Cricket Club (2003)
The Laws of Cricket
Retrieved 2009-03-30. *International Cricket Council (2008)
Standard Test Match Playing Conditions
Retrieved 2009-09-11.


External links



{{DEFAULTSORT:Test Cricket Cricket terminology Sports originating in Australia Test matches, Cricket