ICC Test Championship: India will not face Pakistan until political issues are resolved

ICC Test Championship: India will not face Pakistan until political issues are resolved

The introduction of test championship is a welcome change in the World of Cricket

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The growth of T20 cricket has had a negative impact on Test cricket. The red ball cricket is the oldest form of the game and it is a true test of a players’ talent and character. As it is played over five days, people are losing interest in it and going for something that is shorter and more entertaining. However, players know that Test cricket is the original form of cricket and it must be preserved for the betterment of the game.

The ICC has taken steps to increase the popularity of the longest form of the game by adding context to every single game. It has introduced the World Test Championship that will be played over a two-year cycle (2019-20) with the final being held in 2021. This news was confirmed at the end of its quarterly conclave on Thursday. It was also confirmed that the championship will not feature India-Pakistan clashes unless the teams make it to the finals.

Final at a neutral venue

Under the new format that is still being worked out, the top nine Test-playing nations will play a maximum of six series, comprising of three Tests each on home-and-away basis against six other nations over a two-year period. It amounts to 36 Tests in a course of 24 months. During the championship period only Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland will engage in bilateral exchanges as they will not be a part of the Test Championship.

“In the case of India and Pakistan, we have been a little pragmatic. In the first cycle, they are not playing Test matches,” ICC chief executive Dave Richardson was quoted as saying by indiatimes.com. The ICC is hoping that the neighbouring countries will be able to compete against each other in the second cycle of the World Test Championship which will happen between 2021-2023. If India and Pakistan make it to the final, the match will be played in a neutral venue which is yet to be decided by the management.

The ICC has also roped in Richie Richardson, Allan Border and Shaun Pollock, who along with Anil Kumble will suggest the governing body on imposing heavier sanctions on ball-tampering and other offences which were indicative of a lack of respect, including the use of abusive language, send-offs and dissent to an umpire’s decision. It is high time that laws are amended to ensure that cricket is always played in the right spirit.

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