With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting plenty of cricketing activities around the world, new ICC Chairman Greg Barclay remains unimpressed with ICC World Test Championship’s underwhelming contribution. Greg Barclay has underlined that the ongoing outbreak has only exposed all the shortcomings of the WTC and wonders whether it was an attempt to reinstate interest in red-ball cricket.
The ICC World Test Championship began in the 2019 Ashes series in England; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the schedule in chaos. With plenty of series coming under the Championship standing cancelled, the entire program got disturbed. Thus, the ICC has come up with a percentage allocation of points as all the series before the final at Lord’s in 2021 could not be done in a short span.
Greg Barclay does not think that the ICC WTC has done what its aim was and instead highlighted the shortcomings of the same. With the WTC introduced to give more context to Test cricket and relevance to the same, the new ICC Chairman does not see it has served that way.
“In short, I don’t think so. The COVID has probably highlighted its shortcomings of the championship. The issues that we have already got, I wonder whether some of it was because of an attempt to develop a Test Championship, clearly designed to drive interest back into Test cricket, provide a bit of context and relevance around the Test matches. From an idealist’s point of view, probably it had a lot of merit but practically, I do disagree, I am not sure whether it has achieved what it intended to do,” Greg Barclay said as quoted by Hindu.
I am not quite sure whether it (WTC) entirely fits the purpose: Greg Barclay
Barclay further said that he intends to go with the current arrangement of reallocation of points and once it’s done, they must go back to the drawing board to recognize the purpose. He feels that they must look at it in the context of the calendar and avoid putting cricketers in a worse situation.
“My personal view is let’s get through with the little bit that we can in this COVID-19, with reallocation of points and all that. But once we have done that, let’s go back to the drawing board as I am not quite sure whether it (WTC) entirely fits the purpose and has achieved what it intended to after being conceptualised four to five years back. I think we need to look at it in context of calendar and not put cricketers in a situation where it’s a lot more worse and not going to help us,” the New Zealand-born added.
The Kiwi lawyer admitted that Test cricket is the real form of the game and is a purist, targetting to keep it that way. However, less and less countries are able to pay for it and struggle from a financial point of view.
“Test cricket has got its legacy and I am a purist but I do accept that as much as I want to keep it as it is, less and less countries are able to afford that arrangement and are able to play it. Very few countries can make it work from a financial point of view,” he stated further.