The WTC is a gimmick

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Park cricketer

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Not sure when we are going to acknowledge it. Yes, the concept of a grand final can be suitable for the T20 and ODI formats where the conditions mostly remain the same for both innings except for maybe the dew. But the idea of deciding the best team in Test cricket based on a single one off game feels like a gimmick to me. It should at least be a 3 test series between the finalists. Ideally I would prefer the final to be conducted across 3 conditions (one in the subcontinent to test the teams against spin, one in Aus/SA to test against pace and bounce and one in Eng/NZ to test against swing/slow seamers), a bit like how teams play home and away legs in a semifinal tie in the Champions league football match. But I know that's unrealistic, so a best of 3 series in any fixed venue country would suffice.

Having a one off test doesn't tell you if it's the best team or not. Imagine Australia or New Zealand winning across the world and imagine if Sri Lanka or Pakistan or India makes the final on the back of winning ruthlessly at home and the final is scheduled on a rank turner in Sri Lanka or India, and Australia or NZ loses the toss in the final. I see the WTC in its current form to evoke interest in Test cricket among the casual fans more than it caters for the purists. We didn't need the WTC to decide which was the best team in test cricket for more than a 100 years before, but for a format that values longevity, endurance, versatility and survival, having a one off final to decide the best team in Test cricket feels like a pyjama cricket gimmick to me.

Your thoughts?
 

Santana

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Yes, it was always a bit of a gimmick.

A championship for something like Test Cricket has never really worked, it's even harder to have it work with the way things are now.
 

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Jamurp

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I still don't understand how it works, unless every side plays each other the same amount of times, surely it just cannot work?
 

melanChronic

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I think it is a work in progress. It's good how they have preserved the bilateral series aspect of test cricket and ensured that every test match has relevance. The points system has improved from the last iteration but could still do with some tweaking.

Eventually I would hope that the final evolves into something like the AFL GF: a one off event that everyone is desperate to make just for a shot at glory, even though it might not be the best way of identifying the best team over the whole season. I agree that it would be lame if the final ends up on the home ground of one of the finalists, giving them a huge advantage. Perhaps in future they can decide the location of the final after the top two is locked in.
 

Park cricketer

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I still don't understand how it works, unless every side plays each other the same amount of times, surely it just cannot work?

A premier league style format where every team plays every team home and away with extra points for an away win and no final is the best way to decide the best test team imho.

But it would take longer than a 2 year cycle. Only way to cram everything is if you have two tier test cricket with the top 8 teams fighting for the WTC and the bottom 4 teams (BD, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan) playing together and the best team gets promoted to the top flight test cricket to compete in the WTC while the 8th placed team in the previous WTC gets relegated to the 2nd tier test cricket. But then, you wouldn't have results like you had last week when BD produced a shock upset of NZ.
 

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A premier league style format where every team plays every team home and away with extra points for an away win and no final is the best way to decide the best test team imho.

But it would take longer than a 2 year cycle. Only way to cram everything is if you have two tier test cricket with the top 8 teams fighting for the WTC and the bottom 4 teams (BD, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan) playing together and the best team gets promoted to the top flight test cricket to compete in the WTC while the 8th placed team in the previous WTC gets relegated to the 2nd tier test cricket. But then, you wouldn't have results like you had last week when BD produced a shock upset of NZ.
Imagine watching England get relegated and spend 2 years playing against BD, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan. Gold!
 

fargothegreat

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I don't mind the idea of it, but you can't have the final location being predetermined.

The final should be a three test series with home advantage going to the top ranked team. Either that or don't have a final at all.

We can't have a situation where the predetermined host ends up being the team that finishes second.
 

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Park cricketer

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Do we have any idea where the final is going to be hosted next year or do they just make it up as they go?

If I'm not wrong, it's scheduled to take place once again in England.

I guess the ICC is scheduling these finals in England safely knowing that England won't be making the finals and so it'd be fair to both teams.
 

corbies

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I still don't understand how it works, unless every side plays each other the same amount of times, surely it just cannot work?
The AFL doesn't work then. Nor the NFL.

The original WTC where every series regardless of length was worth the same and everyone played 6 series was a great idea. COVID - and blokes like Stuart Broad complaining that a Pakistan v Bangladesh match was worth more points than an Ashes match because he didn't understand that it meant each series was worth the same points - ruined it.

Every match - instead of series - being worth the same points like it is now is a way worse format in my opinion.

The one-off final is flawed but it doesn't make it a gimmick. The big 3 playing each other more often than anyone else is way more gimmicky imo.

The IPL is the biggest gimmick of them all and yet is the most important competition to most cricket followers (Indians) and will unfortunately take over the cricket calendar eventually.
 

ep2018

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I dont mind it, means there are no more dead rubber tests when series have already been won and lost.
 

to1994

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I have no problem with England hosting the final, the conditions usually ensure there's always decent Test Cricket being played over there and I think it suits most attacks who have a realistic chance of making the final.

I don't really think you need a system where everyone plays everyone on a strict schedule every cycle, Test Cricket is about overcoming a unique set of challenges each time so I like it being mixed up and each cycle presenting a different set of challenges. It works as long as it's relatively mixed up each time and ensures we aren't just going to get the exact same final every two years ago between the best teams.

Obviously it's not perfect, but the WTC was obviously a bit of a "how can we add more context without having to do much work" situation where not a lot has been done outside a point system and scheduling a single game every 2 years. It's better then nothing and it's nice to have something other then the Mace being passed around which always felt a bit pointless as it can change hands too often when there's no clear dominant team like Australia, South Africa in their times etc.
 

Santana

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If I'm not wrong, it's scheduled to take place once again in England.

I guess the ICC is scheduling these finals in England safely knowing that England won't be making the finals and so it'd be fair to both teams.
There is nothing set in stone. I have heard it may be in Dubai, but the fact we are having this discussion isn't great.

If they were going to host it in England the majority of the time then that is a huge disadvantage to a number of teams straight off the bat. Having something that will be a huge factor in deciding the winner be that flawed is an issue for the credibility of the competition.

Not while New Zealand reign supreme.
After drawing a home series against Bangladesh they are very likely not to make it back to the final.
 

corbies

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From a pure sporting competition view point the ideal version of this is basically the way the old ICC Intercontinental Cup used to work where there was promotion and relegation similar to the English football pyramid. As a selfish person and pushing my own interests this is what I want to see as it provides me with the greatest amount of contextual entertainment.

However I am realistic and know that this is a big money loser and anyone running a franchise league would be licking their lips at scooping up players because they make no money playing Test cricket.
 

BRAB

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There is nothing set in stone. I have heard it may be in Dubai, but the fact we are having this discussion isn't great.

If they were going to host it in England the majority of the time then that is a huge disadvantage to a number of teams straight off the bat. Having something that will be a huge factor in deciding the winner be that flawed is an issue for the credibility of the competition.


After drawing a home series against Bangladesh they are very likely not to make it back to the final.

Never doubt the New Zealand dynasty champ
 

melanChronic

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I don't mind the idea of it, but you can't have the final location being predetermined.

The final should be a three test series with home advantage going to the top ranked team. Either that or don't have a final at all.

We can't have a situation where the predetermined host ends up being the team that finishes second.
Different sport, but we have accepted that in AFL-- much to your benefit in 2017.

Could Lords become the MCG equivalent for the WTC? It is after all the home of cricket, and would ensure a good turnout to every iteration regardless of the teams involved.
 

Park cricketer

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My objection to the WTC is simple - the concept of a one off final in Test cricket is a very flawed one. I have seen many people saying "yeah but one off final works perfectly fine in the world cups". But in any LOI cricket tournament like the ODI WC, T20 WC, ICC Champions trophy, etc., you have teams essentially squaring off in one off matches/ties with different teams in the group stages to determine who will proceed to the knockouts. When Australia and South Africa squared off in the group stage of the recent T20 WC, they did so in a one off game rather than playing a 3 match T20 series with each other. And so when people say the ODI and T20 WC also have one off final, the final in those tournaments is essentially the same format followed in the group stage of those respective tournaments - one off ties in group stage vs different teams and a one off tie in the final.

Now coming to the WTC, the reason we don't have one off bilateral tests between different teams to determine the finalists for the WTC is because we recognise the fact that one off games can't give proper context to Test cricket and they actually trivialise Test cricket. We have seen a lot of test series where one team wins the first game but the other team makes a comeback to win the 3 or 4 or 5 match series. So we have teams squaring off against each other in a minimum of 2 match series to a maximum of 5 match series in the WTC to decide the finalists. But, in a strange leap of logic, after recognising the fact that one off bilateral tests are a joke, in the grandest stage of the tournament, the ICC organises a one off test to decide the best test team in the world, which is a flawed system imo. You have one system of test "series" in the pre knockout stage and another system of a "one off game" in the final. Either all games in the WTC should be one off tests against each other with a one off final or have a best of 3 finals with the current system.
 

Teen Wolf

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Matches at neutral venues are far more gimmicky and antithetical to the nature of the sport. But one team with home ground advantage after a long string of matches leading up to a decider... sounds like optimal Test cricket conditions to me.

New Zealand are the current champions, which should count for something. For any team to prove they are more worthy of the title, shouldn't they have to beat the incumbents on their own turf?

If so, the starting point for the next final is that it should be played in NZ between NZ and the no.1 contender.

And btw the WTC doesn't get rid of dead rubbers. If anything it's prone to rendering entire series as dead rubbers (e.g. last cycle SL v WI, RSA v WI and SL v BAN were all played after the finalists were already decided).

Either all games in the WTC should be one off tests against each other with a one off final or have a best of 3 finals with the current system.
A best of 3 finals, even though some teams otherwise only play two-match series, is just as much of a contradiction as having a one-off Test.
 

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