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HomeCricketWhy I'm underwhelmed with the Test and ODI World Championship

Why I’m underwhelmed with the Test and ODI World Championship

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

The ICC recently announced the schedule for the World Test and ODI Championship, and I must say, I’m a little underwhelmed.

The idea is awesome. It adds more relevance to bilateral series cricket, a necessity in a world of T20 Leagues

In October 2017, when I really started focusing on cricket blogging as a passion, I highlighted three burning questions from the proposed Test and ODI Championships. Unfortunately, they haven’t been answered appropriately.

The ODI League doesn’t excite me at all

13 teams in the league, but not everyone will play each other. What sort of competition is that?
Each team will play eight series home and away over a two-year period. However, each team will have four teams they don’t play against. A team could finish top of the league without having played the second, third or fourth placed teams, for example. How is that fair? Can they really be called the best? 
Also, I was hoping the ODI League would result in series we don’t get to see often. Surprise, surprise, we won’t be seeing Australia v Bangladesh, or India v Pakistan. How will points be properly assigned? 
Even worse, nations will still have discretion to organise bilateral series that sit outside the ODI League. So much for context-less ODI series being a thing of the past.
Eh. I won’t be holding my breath for the ODI League to begin. Underwhelmed.

Neither does the World Test Championship

The World Test Championship is labeled the pinnacle of Test cricket, and will start following the beautiful, glorious (not) ten team World Cup in 2019.
However, good luck explaining it to those you know who may not be big cricket fans. Or, better yet, even those who are cricket fans. 
For this to work, the length of each series needs to be the same. Otherwise, it’s not fair. The longer series will be between the “big three” (i.e. Australia, England, India), and will probably have points divided by the number of matches they play. But, the likes of Bangladesh, South Africa, West Indies and New Zealand, who often play shorter series, can gain a greater number of points from a single win. 
In fact, the second ranked Test side right now, South Africa, will play just four Tests in 2020. Their 38 Tests across the next five years are far less than England (59), India (51) and Australia (47).
In my previous article on the issue, I wrote the following. Unfortunately, there won’t be the optimal solution.
If a team has plays their minimum of 12 Test matches across two years, what is their way of competing in the table against a team like Australia, India and England who might play 20+ Tests? Also, teams like India, Australia and England will likely play more games against higher ranked opponents, so what is their way of competing with teams who play less games against high ranked teams?

For example, Bangladesh might win four Tests across two two-match home series against West Indies and Sri Lanka (four Tests, four wins), whereas England might win three Tests across ten matches against Australia and India (two series losses). Bangladesh have won more games in this period, in less games, but England have played higher ranked opposition. So how will the points system ensure that both Bangladesh and England won’t be left feeling disappointed?

Also, teams won’t play equal matches home and away. Think of the home advantage that is evident in Test cricket right now. Again, this has to be a equal playing field, which isn’t the case.

The game still isn’t being promoted on a global scale

Teams can still have a very big say in which series they choose to play.
Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan won’t take part in the Test championship, and certain nations get greater opportunity than others. This is in addition to the 2023 World Cup being looked at as a ten-team tournament again, which is a shame. 
These Leagues are a good idea, but they have me asking questions instead of looking forward to it.
Your thoughts?

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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