World Test Championship is definitely the much-needed addition to international cricket. It is a modest act by ICC to revive the enthusiasm of cricket lovers in the oldest form of cricket, which somewhat lost sheen in the dazzling light of T 20 cricket.
The first edition of the championship (2019-21), was hampered badly by the pandemic. For that a new point system has been introduced in the second edition (2021-23) which is quite a complex one. Ranking & qualification of the teams into the final will depend on the percentage of points which is actually the division between the points a team gets in total and the maximum it would get if it wins all the matches.
The vital part of this championship is, like the first edition, all teams will not play the same number of matches in a series though they will all play 3 home & 3 away series each, but not all 9 teams will play against each other. ICC attributed it to time and financial crunch of all countries in hosting the same number of matches.
Ashes & India England series will have 5 matches while some series will have 3, while some have two. England, India, Australia will play far more matches than countries like Bangladesh or West Indies.
It would have been better if all teams played the same number of matches, which would give every team an equal opportunity for competing to clinch the prestigious title. ICC must ponder on this and talk to all the member boards to solve this issue.
It can be a three-match or four-match series for all series. All the team can play against each other in-home & away format. Most importantly, World Test Championship can be a four-year calendar than a two-year calendar. It would be best if this starts after a 50-over World Cup & ends few months before the next 50-over World Cup event. Before 50 over world cup, there can be a qualifying tournament where all cricket playing nations can participate & those who are more likely to qualify, can prepare themselves for the coveted trophy. ICC can apply the same for T20 world cup.
The final of the WTC can be three-match series in a neutral country, which would garner more enthusiasm & attraction for the viewers & give a chance to come back if a team loses the first match. It can be a Best of 3 final like the old VB one day series of Australia where the winner of the first two will crown as champion.
Test cricket is the ultimate test of character, temperament, Skill, attitude of cricketers. It should be protected at any cost. Test cricket somewhat lost its flavour in recent times after the premature retirement of players like AB De villiers, Lasith Malinga, Chris Gayle, who later continued to play in one day or 20 over the format for their country or state.
Popularity, craze & money related T20 cricket is luring many players to only concentrate on cash-rich T20 leagues than wearing white jerseys for their countries. ICC has a big role to play in this. They need to create a system where future generations of players feel proud to play the purest form of the game besides slambang cricket. They need to bring the crowd back in test matches across the globe. It can be by preparing sporting pitches or by organizing more day-night test matches, which gives a different flavour to the spectators.