ICC World Test Championship
Tendulkar wants World Cup format for Test Championship
The World Test Championship should be a tournament-style event held in one host nation every four years, says batting great Sachin Tendulkar
16 June 2021, 07:57 AM AEST
On the eve of the inaugural World Test Championship final, batting great Sachin Tendulkar says the event should only be held every four years, on the lines of the ODI World Cup.
India and New Zealand will contest cricket's first five-day WTC final in Southampton from Friday for Test cricket's biggest honour, along with a winner's cheque of $1.6 million (A$2 million).
The WTC was launched in 2019 after several aborted attempts and with a complicated points system to account for varying lengths of Test series, with the top nine Test-playing nations competing in a league format across two years to decide the finalists.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic threw plans for teams to play six bilateral Test series in the two-year cycle into disarray, and a new points system ranking teams on the percentage of points earned was introduced.
Nevertheless, the two top-ranked teams, led by Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli, will meet in the final, to be screened on Fox Sports and Kayo from 8pm AEST on Friday.
Tendulkar, 48, the most prolific run-scorer in both Test and ODI cricket, has urged the International Cricket Council to schedule future Test championships in a dedicated two-three months' window like the World Cups.
"Maybe to generate even more interest, it could become like a World Cup. A World Cup is not played all across the globe. World Cup is played in just one or two countries," Tendulkar told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"We need to decide which are the countries where you can host the Test championship. And within possibly those two months, you just play the Test championship."
Tests played between two countries over the past two years counted towards an overall points table under the WTC to determine the teams for the final.
"You need to shorten that window and compress the whole thing," Tendulkar added. "All teams go and play wherever it is held and that is when the final will have more significance than what it is at this moment.
"When a 50-over World Cup happens, it goes on for nearly two months and nowhere in the world there is any other format being played during those two months.
"But along with the WTC final, (currently) there are multiple teams playing in different parts of the world in different formats. To get more eyeballs and get more focus, more engagement, we need to have just one tournament."
India coach Ravi Shastri has said a best-of-three final would have been an ideal way to determine the winner at the end of the WTC's two-year cycle.
Tendulkar agreed with his former India teammate.
"India played all four Tests in Australia, and four Test matches against England at home," Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in 2013, explained.
"So we have been playing full series to get here and suddenly you get to the final and you just have one match. So it should have been a WTC final series, best of three."