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‘A big step in the right direction’ - Geoff Allardice on the latest edition of WTC

wtc interview

ICC’s Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice shares his thoughts on the ICC World Test Championship and the new points system put in place for the second cycle starting with the England-India series next month.

  1. How do you look back at the first edition of the ICC World Test Championship?

I think the first cycle of the ICC World Test Championship was very pleasing from the ICC perspective. It brought a lot of context to bilateral fixtures played between Members. In the ICC World Test Championship Final, we have created a global Test match event that all players and teams are going to aspire to play in the years to come.

The final was frustrating at times with a couple of days washed out, but with a reserve day scheduled, we had enough cricket to get a result and the Test cricket that was played throughout the game was enthralling. Two evenly matched teams with really strong bowling attacks, and in the end it came down to an hour or two on the last day - that was the difference between the two teams. The way Test cricket is being played these days, you normally can get enough time for a result. That was the reason for including a reserve day, in case we lost time to the weather. As it turned out, it was a good move as we had enough time to get a result in the match.

  1. What is the thought behind changing the points system for the second cycle?

The thinking was to try and make it a little bit simpler and a little bit fairer. Simpler in that every match is worth the same number of points, no matter who is playing or how long the series is. That way teams will be judged on or ranked on the percentage of available points that they win in those matches. We took on board some of the feedback from the first cycle and we have tried to make it simpler in the second cycle.

  1. What is the kind of support you have received from Members over this whole process of putting the two WTC cycles in place?

The Member Countries are very encouraged with the way that the first cycle of the World Test Championship has played out. As we got to the last three or four months, every series had a new meaning because it would influence who would play in the final. As I said already, the final itself was a great spectacle, so when we are planning for the future, all the Members involved are looking forward to cycle two of the World Test Championship as well as the cycles beyond that.

  1.  Do you think the matter of having a pinnacle event for each format is now settled?

The thing that has become evident is the interest from countries outside the two competing in the match. When we got to the conclusion of the league stage of the championship, there was interest from a number of countries as to the results. For example, the India versus England series, to see who was going to win and who was going to make the final.

And when it came in the lead up to the Final, I think we saw interest from cricket fans all over the world in a one-off Test match. From that point of view, bringing global interest to Test cricket has been a big step in the right direction.

  1. Do you think Test cricket has got a new lease of life with the WTC? How important are Tests for the game and for the development of players?

For fans around the world Test cricket is hugely popular. It draws big crowds in a number of countries. Interest levels are very, very high. I think the ICC World Test Championship as a whole has brought a lot more meaning to Test cricket played around the world. I think the greatest supporters of Test cricket are often the players from all the Test playing countries around the world. One of the reasons the World Test Championship Final was such a special occasion was because players valued their performances in that match, in that format of the game, so highly.

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