India and Pakistan have gained a significant advantage in the World Test Championship (WTC) points table after the ICC penalized England and Australia for slow-over rates during the Ashes series. The ICC docked 19 points from England and 10 points from Australia for failing to maintain the required over-rate in certain Test matches.
Due to the new ICC guidelines, teams are penalized one WTC point for every over they fall short of the proposed over-rate, accounting for any delays. As a result of these penalties, Australia and England, despite having the same points (28) after the Ashes, are ranked differently in the WTC points table. Australia’s percentage of points (PCT) stands at 30, placing them at No.3, while England’s PCT is only 15, dropping them to No.5 behind West Indies.
This turn of events has favored India and Pakistan, who now have a substantial lead in the WTC points table. Pakistan has a perfect start to the 2023-25 campaign, securing a point percentage of 100 with a clean sweep against Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, India holds the second spot with a 66.66% PCT, with a win and a draw against West Indies.
Fans of England and Australia expressed their discontent on social media over the ICC’s heavy penalties. Australian opener Usman Khawaja criticized the ICC’s decision to penalize his team despite facing unfavorable weather conditions during the Ashes series. While it is still early in the WTC’s third cycle, India and Pakistan’s strong position sets the stage for a potential historic first-ever World Test Championship final between the two arch-rivals.