ICC news July 18, 2011

ICC could use 'timeless' Test for World Championship final


Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has suggested that the final of the inaugural World Test Championship, which will be held in England in 2013, could be a 'timeless' Test.

Lorgat said that a prestigious event like the first-ever Test Championship final deserved a clear winner. It is why the 'timeless' Test - a match that only ends when one team wins outright - is one of the options being considered by the ICC's think-tank led by general manager and former South African wicketkeeper Dave Richardson.

The latest ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) comprises a Test league running over four years with the top four teams at the end of each period qualifying for a play-off event. The first play-off is scheduled for 2013, the same year England are due to host the Ashes, and Lord's is the favoured venue for the final. The biggest hurdle the organisers face is a Test that is drawn over a conventional five days of play.

Lorgat said that finding an eventual solution to a draw was still a "work in progress". At a press conference at Lord's Lorgat said: "We've still got to decide how we determine a winner in case of a draw or if the draw will be the end result. I would favour a winner because you want somebody to be a Test champion.

"That is what Dave Richardson and the committee is currently on working on because it is not a good idea to end up with a drawn Test match," Lorgat said. "You have got to determine a winner - whether it is on the first-innings basis, or the runs [scored] in the game - they will come up with a viable formula to determine a winner in case of a drawn Test match. The final may well be a 'timeless' Test. We don't know that yet but we are looking into the mechanics of that. Although looking at the statistics today most of the games have ended in results."

Lorgat said the discussions aimed at settling the issue are ongoing and that he is personally eager that an option is found "before the end of the year".

The 2011 Lord's Test may have been sold out for the first four days but the sparse crowds witnessed during the twin Test series in the Caribbean involving Pakistan and India have brought back the question of overall viability of Test cricket in most parts of the world.

Lorgat was stubborn in his defence of the game and said that the format is not an issue of concern but the general lack of context in Test cricket is. "Bilateral series will have a lot more meaning if you are aspiring or playing towards something at the end. It is what the Test Championship aims to be."

In the past, Lorgat said, ODIs were always promoted in a much more meaningful way than Test cricket and it was one reason the value of one-day cricket had increased in comparison to Tests. "I'm confident that as we produce context in a Championship for Test cricket and we get better contests, as we have seen in the last few series, you will get back the interest and then see what the World Test Championships can do for us. People back winners when they see challenging matches."

According to Lorgat, top cricketing nations have displayed an aggressive brand of Test cricket because, he believes, of their aspiration to be at the top tier of the ICC's rankings. "Already we can see the amount of interest there is on the rankings table. If we look at the moment, between South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, Australia and India, one of those teams would fall out of the top-four."

The ICC also announced the fans' Greatest Test team of all-time, based on 250,000 votes cast on the ICC website, to mark the cricket's 2000th Test which will be played between England and India on July 21. The team included four Indians and some notable absentees like Garfield Sobers and Malcolm Marshall.

People's Dream XI: Virender Sehwag, Sunil Gavaskar, Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Kapil Dev, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Binoj on July 21, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    I don't care about timeless tests. If ICC can ensure at least that minimum 450 overs will be bowled in all tests even if a 6th or 7th day need to be taken when interfered by rain or bad light, that will be highly appreciated by a Test Cricket fan like me.

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    this is a good idea but how will tv be able to show it how willl players manage the strain what will the dates of the matches will be

  • girish on July 20, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    the above selection is obviously biased, and i am an indian myself

    my XI

    hobbs, gavaskar, bradman, tendulkar, viv richards, sobers, gilchrist, akram, warne, ambrose, malcolm marshall. 12th man hadlee.

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    Kapil in dream team ahead of Sobbers, Imran, Headlee, Botham??? Joke of the century I must say. I wont right anything, just i will quote a few lines from cricinfo profiles of Imran and Kapil as these lines surely explain the status off all these all rounders. " Kapil Dev was the greatest pace bowler India has produced, and their greatest fast-bowling allrounder. If he had played at any other time - not when Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Richard Hadlee were contemporaries - he would surely have been recognised as the best allrounder in the world. Imran Khan is indisputably the greatest cricketer to emerge from Pakistan, and arguably the world's second-best allrounder after Garry Sobers. Et voila, I let you decide yourself.

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    My all-time team : Sehwag, Gavaskar, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Kapil Dev, Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Srinath, Bishen Bedi

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    Sorry , but this all-time team stinks. Some good selections but overall not so good. I agree with Sehwag and Gavaskar opening. One slow , one fast. Bradman never played against the great India so shouldn´t be included. A strong number 3 like Dravid would be awesome. Tendulkar must stay. He is God, after all. Lara was a flat track bully and lacked the personality of Ganguly. Kapil Dev is obvious as all-rounder. Nyan Mongia was probably the best keeper ever. The Indian keepers had to learn on spinning tracks which are more difficult so they are better. Warne could never master India. I would go with Kumble as better spinner on all tracks. I would play two spinners. It was a toss up between Harbhajan and Bedi and Bedi gets the nod. As for quicks, Zaheer Khan is the dominant guy in the modern era and would be great to see him and Javagal Srinath together. This team would beat anyone.

  • jazee on July 20, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    @sajansilwal- not agreed!!!!!!1 There is no camparion of Sachin vs Ponting. I understand your mentality, mere bhai, we as pakistani will find every excuse to put down any Indian (in this case Sachin). For that to accomplish, we will go as far as we can. Even praise goras if needed. Bottom line is we are the worst team at this time. India has the the best combination. For playing 20 years for India with consistency do accredited Sachin automatically. Sachin do not need anybody to take a stand for him. He is a unique who have 3 legs to stand!!!!!

  • jazee on July 20, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    I am Pakistani and I love Sachin

    I do not know why people keep saying that whenever Sachin make 100 India lose. Please go and check the stats. 75% of Tendulkar centruries end up win for India. I will look at the other 25% of centuries (that end up in India loss) as the cases where every member of India team failed except Sachin. Please be positive and pay your respect to the legend while you still can!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    This team is a joke. No Viv? And Kapil Dev wasn't even the best all-rounder of his time, there were three who were way better than him.

    I'd go with Len Hutton, Barry Richards, Don Bradman, Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall, Dennis Lilee

    Imran Khan would be the captain.

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    i do not think Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan are less successful than Kapil Dev.... but still it is good selection

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