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World Test Championship

'A step forward' - Geoff Allardice on ICC World Test Championship

Interview

The International Cricket Council’s interim CEO, Geoff Allardice painted a picture of the future of the World Test Championship, which will help bringing interest back in Test cricket.

The first edition of the Championship will culminate in the final between India and New Zealand, which begins in Southampton on Friday, 18 June.

The two-year journey has not been without hiccups; the tournament had to halt mid-way due to the pandemic, which forced the rescheduling of many Test series. This prompted the ICC to make some changes.

Allardice states that the change of standardisation of the point system made the competition a level-playing field as “it became evident that everybody would not have been able to complete their six series due to Covid-19” while working with the principle of “every match should count.”

“Twelve months ago we were looking ahead with great uncertainty, halfway through the first cycle of the Test Championship,” he added.

Allardice continued, “But as we led up to the last couple of series in the competition we had four teams in the running for the two spots in the final, and in the minds of a lot of people those last three or four months painted a picture of what the future might look like for the WTC.”

Allardice added that going forward the percentage-of-points method for the WTC standings - introduced as a result of the pandemic - would remain in place, with each Test to now be worth the same amount of points rather than each series.

"We are going to stick with the percentage-of-points-won method to rank teams," Allardice said. "When we looked at the first 12 months of the competition you had teams on a number of points, but it was all relative to how many series they had played. So one of the ways to compare teams on an ongoing basis is what proportion of the points that have been available in the matches they played have been actually won. And that percentage served us well in the second half of the Championship.

“The other thing is if we are using the percentage of points won we can put a standardised number of points per Test match. So it doesn't matter if it is a two-Test series or a five-Test series, the same number of points will be available for each match that's played, but every team would be judged on the percentage of those points it wins, not on total."

Allardice credited the two finalists for giving the Championship an added context and build-up as the narrative within their dressing rooms was centered around reaching the finals.

"The aim of creating the competition four years ago was to try and bring about more interest in Test cricket globally."

“It was obvious that the interest in certain series wasn’t just restricted to the two teams involved. It was coming from all over the cricketing world and to bring that sort of context to Test cricket has been a real step forward,” said Allardice.

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