The ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 is the inaugural edition of the tournament. After many unsuccessful attempts, such a tournament was finally put in place to take Test cricket to a level higher than where it was. The main objective of the tournament is to make Test cricket attractive, engaging and meaningful to the audience.
As the shorter formats began ‘entertaining’ fans worldwide, the longer formats started losing its fan base and viewership. The T20 format was initially introduced to engage fans from all around the world with the game of cricket, to make a new audience what the game is and how it is played.
The T20 format certainly achieved that, but the patience level of the fans of the longer formats of the game went soaring down as well. People started talking about the shorter formats more and the Test series were beginning to be neglected. It is evident from the crowd present in the stadiums unless two top Test-playing nations are involved.
This resulted in the cricketers focusing more on the shorter format because of the thrill, income, and fame it brought along with it. A stereotype being that Cheteshwar Pujara is a boring cricketer and Andre Russell is a more interesting cricketer. Even though their skill-sets might be quite different, Russell engages more fans after scoring about 30 odd runs in 10 balls than Pujara scoring 100 off 300 balls.
ICC took measures to make Test cricket more meaningful and make each and every match worth something on a global level. With the World Test Championship Points Table in place, even a Test series not involving two top Test-playing nations becomes important and carries context. This is where the fans get engaged and start talking about it.
The ratio of Test matches producing results in the current era is significantly higher than what it was earlier, and all this adds up in the value of ‘points’. The world will see the cricket fans flocking in stadiums even in an India v South Africa game once the competition becomes cut-throat with respect to points. The points will prove to be the most attractive feature apart from the great quality of cricket that will be on display during the tournament that ends at the glorious Lord’s Cricket Ground according to the World Test Championship schedule.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli spoke highly about the tournament saying that it will add more context to the five-day game and it will uplift the standards of the game. The words of such a great cricketer of the modern game must be taken seriously. Apart from Kohli, many other current and former cricketers have spoken about welcoming the World Test Championship as there are a lot of positives materializing out of the tournament.
The interest in cricket among commoners will also let them delve into the long history of the game and learn more about the game.