Announcing the start of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship with the 2019 Ashes series, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had said that the top two teams would fight it out for the title in June 2021 at the iconic Lord’s. But the coronavirus pandemic has put a blanket of doubt over the original plan and the ICC is now hoping to get clarity on the fate of the championship by mid-November.
Speaking to ANI, an ICC official in the know of developments said that with the pandemic sending the original scheduling of bilateral ties for a toss, the international body is looking to get a fair idea on how the championship will play out by next month.
“It will be discussed at the Cricket Committee and Chief Executives Committee meetings in mid-November and we should have more clarity post then,” the official said.
Asked if there could be a toss-up between either splitting points for the cancelled games or only adding points from games completed to see who sits at the top of the table at the end of the cycle, the official said: “Both will be discussed.”
The coronavirus pandemic saw the world coming to a complete standstill with tours being cancelled and bilateral cricketing ties taking a hit. The West Indies tour of England was the first series that took place after the resumption of cricket and that was followed by Pakistan and Australia travelling to the UK. While Pakistan too played a full series, Australia and England engaged in just a limited-overs series.
The successful organisation of the ongoing Indian Premier League would be a huge boost for the ICC and world cricket as they look to return to normalcy with an eye on safety protocols to battle the virus.
In fact, former ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat who is now a part of the Abu Dhabi T10 league said that the way UAE has managed to host the IPL is a huge boost for everyone around the gentleman’s game.
“I think so (a big boost). To hold a 10-day event is much easier than it is to hold or stage the IPL. The IPL is a big tournament played over two months. It is a huge event and if they can successfully host the IPL as the organisers have shown here in the UAE, I have got no doubt that a 10-day event like the T10 can be easily done. I hope COVID-19 would be behind us and spectators are allowed inside,” Lorgat told ANI.
Coming back to the World Test Championship, it is not just a project close to the ICC’s heart, even stars like Virat Kohli have made it clear how it is an integral part of the system and winning it would be the ultimate cherry on the cake.
“I think Test Championship, as an ICC tournament, should be right up there. All the other tournaments, for me, start under that. This is going to be the biggest of them all. Every team wants to make it to the final at Lord’s. And we are not any different. We want those points and make sure that we qualify as early as we can, and be in that frame of mind to hopefully win that,” he had said.