ICC Chairman Greg Barclay highlights shortcomings of World Test Championship
The newly-elected International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman Greg Barclay, on Monday, stated that the World Test Championship hasn't quite achieved what it intended to. He believes the disruption caused by COVID-19 has only highlighted the structure's "shortcomings". Recently, the ICC introduced the percentage allocation of points as all the scheduled series before the 2021 final at the Lord's can't be completed.
In a virtual media conference, Barclay opened up on the shortcomings of ICC WTC. "In short, I don't think so. The COVID has probably highlighted its shortcomings of the championship," he said. "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."
Earlier this month, ICC Cricket Committee formulated a new way to decide the finalists for the World Test Championship. Under this method, the two finalists will be decided by the percentage of points they have earned during the league cycle. Notably, the option has been chosen after the COVID-19 pandemic marred the championship. The final approval will be given by the Chief Executives' Committee.
Previously, India were leading the World Test Championship (WTC) standings with 360 points, followed by Australia (296), England (292), and New Zealand (180). However, Australia replaced Team India after the governing body implemented the new evaluation system. Even as India have more points, Australia's percentage point stands at 82.2. Meanwhile, India conceded their top position due to their inferior percentage point of 75.0.
The rather complicated rules have drawn negative reviews from the cricket experts around the globe. Speaking on the same, Barclay said, "Let's get through with the little bit, with reallocation of points. Once we have done that, let's go back to the drawing board as I am not quite sure whether it entirely fits the purpose after being conceptualized a few years back."
As per the original format of WTC, the top-nine Test teams had to compete in 71 Test matches, across 27 series. The matches were scheduled to be played over two years, with the top two teams vying for the final in June 2021 at Lord's.
Barclay emphasizes on the nations which can't afford to play Test cricket. "It's is difficult for some of the full members as they simply can't afford to play Test cricket," he added. "Test cricket has got its legacy, 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."
According to him, domestic T20 leagues contribute toward the overall growth of cricket. "Clearly, there is a demand (for T20 leagues) from the playing point of view and commercial partnering perspective. So let's accept that domestic leagues are here to stay and they have been tremendously contributing to the growth of the really exciting product like the IPL, BBL and CPL," concluded Barclay.