ICC Chairman Greg Barclay has stated that the inaugural World Test Championship so far has ‘not achieved what it intended to’ and added that the pandemic has only exacerbated the shortcomings. Barclay further added that he is unsure if it "entirely fit the purpose" in the current ecosystem.
When the ICC Test Championship was devised, it was aimed at increasing the audience base for Test Cricket and how to add context to dead rubbers, but a year and half on, one couldn’t really say that the purpose has been achieved yet. With Covid-19 pandemic hitting at the most inopportune of time, the situation demands a better appraisal, something that the new chairman focuses on.
"In short, I don't think so (that the World Test Championship has been a boost to Test cricket). 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,” Barclay said during a virtual media conference for wire services.
"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," he added.
Recently, the ICC announced a restructure in the points system for the ICC Test Championship with the body announcing that the points earned from the matches played will be the decider. Although Barclay doesn’t buy that idea, he said that the ICC will be going back to the drawing board and think it through.
"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," Barclay said. "...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 the context of the calendar and not put cricketers in a situation where it's a lot worse and not going to help us."