The World Test Championship was recently inaugurated with the start of the Ashes Test series between England and Australia. The Championship will include a two-year cycle during which nine Test nations will play against each other to decide the two finalists who will compete at Lord’s in June 2021.
While the plan seems to be attractive on paper, there are obvious shortcomings which expose the inefficacy of the format. The tournament features each team playing in series comprising of 2, 3, 4 or 5 Test matches against six other countries.
Such a format perhaps does not give a more holistic sense of the competition since it is not exactly emblematic of a round-robin phase. The competitiveness is also uneven here as there is not a level-playing field for all teams since the top-tier countries are facing the weaker sides.
Moreover, there is a disparity in the dynamics of a cricket contest in the different types of cricket balls used. A better idea might be to make one ball – either Dukes or the Kookaburra – set for all matches so that it does not suit one specific team.
With the absence of a Pakistan-India series, viewership problems for the longest format might still persist despite the Championship having been introduced in a bid to increase that very metric.