ICC Test Championship November 24, 2011

Test Championship postponement a 'shame' - Greg Chappell


Greg Chappell has called for the swiftest possible introduction of a Test Championship to aid the health of the game's longest form. Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, has said the postponement of the event from 2013 to 2017 was "not the right decision for cricket", and Chappell argued staunchly for its benefits.

"I like the concept, I'm sorry that it has been postponed because I think it is a fabulous concept and one which I would endorse and I think Test cricket would benefit from it," Chappell told ESPNcricinfo after launching his autobiography Fierce Focus. "It is a shame it isn't going ahead, the sooner it can happen the better, as far as I'm concerned.

"It is one thing to have a ranking system, but to have a final set-up would be good for Test cricket. It elevates the brand of Test cricket and that can't be a bad thing. I just think to have a finals series like that every four years would just heighten the interest and also make each series also meaning something extra as well.

"Australia can play England in the Ashes, but if you know that the series also could be the difference between qualifying for the finals series and not would add a bit to it."

Meanwhile Ryan Harris, the Australia fast bowler, has decried the proliferation of unsatisfying two-Test match series as "pointless", and stressed the game's governors needed to get their priorities right.

Australia's series in South Africa produced some startling cricket, but was over too swiftly as only two matches could be played due to the inclusion of Twenty20 competitions, namely the Champions League, into the schedule. New Zealand have arrived in Australia for another series of only two matches in December. Harris added his name to the likes of Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, each critical of scheduling decisions, including the shelving of the Test Championship until 2017, as hurtful to the game.

"Two-Test series, personally in my point of view, are pointless," Harris told AAP. "If it's 1-1 at the end of the series you walk away with an empty feeling. Three-Test series have to be a minimum, if not more. It's crucial. I'm not sure how they do it with the amount of cricket there is - cut-backs from Twenty20 - but Test cricket is the one.

"I'm not knocking Twenty20, it's great for the game, but you have to get your priorities right. Jacques Kallis made the perfect point that if it's going to cut series between South Africa and the big nations he doesn't want to be a part of T20 stuff because he wants Test cricket to keep going as it is.

"I'm exactly the same way. It's hard because of timing. Champions League takes up a lot of time and IPL takes up a lot. [But] for two of the best Test cricket nations not being able to play a three-Test series is very disappointing. It was terrible."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    need to start the test championship before people and the sponsors loose interest in test,,,

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    If BCCI is opposing it, then we just need to get Sachin to say he likes the idea and then we will have the championship next year!

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    @BryceMcGainWarne - You need to learn to read, he said "two OF the best", not 'the two best'...

  • Raju on November 25, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    I find this entire discussion a little silly - if you are really good, you don't need multiple opportunities to prove it, you should be able to produce your peak performance at any given opportunity. When you go for a job interview do you ask or get another round if you lose out on the first round?By this logic World Cups should have a best of 3 finals etc. Test Series have always been played between nations at home and away and a team which keeps winning over a long periiod of time is considered "de facto" No. 1 (eg. Australia's record of 16 victories at a stretch etc.)

  • Ricardo on November 25, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    I am not dissapointed that the test championship was delayed....i'd rather they work out a valid format then rush it. but I feel for Kallis & Co. their greedy boards playing 2 tests to squeeze in ODI's & T20's for profit. i still think you can run a test chamionship on a 2 teir system, 3 test per series and cut out the T20's & ODI's right down for that calendar year to get the matches in. you then have 3/4 years to play all the IPL CLT20 and ODI's you need

  • ashley on November 25, 2011, 0:36 GMT

    The test Championship is a great concept , spacing it over a 4 year period is perfect it will allow all test teams to play home and away series which will test all sides in all conditions. How you select the grounds to use in the finals would be interesting though maybe the final 2 teams would play a best of three series (Home / AWAY / Neutral) Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport for a player no doubt, because it really tests all facets of your game and builds your character. 20/20 cricket is having a flip in the outhouse

  • Charindra on November 24, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    Test cricket has poor crowds at present because of a lack of context. The rankings system can only do so much. A face to face competition would renew interest in the game for sure.

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    test championship would be great success and a disastrous failure too it depends upon the program and the implementation of it contributing factors will be the proper management of other forms of game,in various countries due to climatic conditions play cannot undergo in some months so proper care should be taken as a day lost due to bad weather can cause a boring draw and if so how the points are to be awarded a team of members having good cricketing sense of current players and past players can be helpful in deciding it.

  • P on November 24, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    I think test championship is not a great idea. The cost will be monumental and spectators will rarely attend an event where at the end of the day they go home without a decision. With ICC rankings put in place, what does test championship mean? Even ODI world cup does not have a lot of meaning these days given ICC rankings. If anything, test championship will expedite the demise of test cricket. Also, what will happen when few tests are draws? It will only add to fan speculation that their team was the best.

  • Dummy4 on November 24, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    The test championship should be restricted to top 3 teams (not 4). The 2nd and 3rd ranked team should play a knockout followed by final with the top ranked team. Alternatively, it could be a round robin followed by a final. This way it would require only 2 weeks. Night cricket may be more successful.

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