World Test Championship Final in 2021 Dependent on How Many Series Are Rescheduled: ICC GM

ICC GM (Cricket Operations) Geoff Allardice has said as of now the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) is will be held on June 2021 but it can be rescheduled depending upon how many countries are able to rearrange their bilateral series.

The WTC calendar has gone for a toss due to the coronavirus pandemic with several bilateral Test tours being cancelled or rescheduled. The men’s T20 World Cup has already been cancelled this year to give countries chance to fulfil their bilateral commitments.

Allardice said that ICC is currently in talks with members regarding plans for rescheduling their series.

“We are currently in discussion with members on what their plans are around rescheduling their series,” Allardice told PTI. “Obviously their teams have re-scheduled them (their engagements) as quickly as possible. Depending on how many of them (postponed series) could be re-scheduled within the available time will give us the most appropriate timing for the final. But at this stage the final is scheduled for June 2021.”

Under the current situation, the ICC will have to reschedule the June 2021 final considering Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England have backlog series.

“We are working with the members on that…Countries are now working out on how to resume and when it’s best to resume and they are all in their process of looking at calendars,” Allardice said.

He added that ICC would only play the role of facilitator and won’t interfere in drawing up the calendars for memebers. “I don’t see us taking a greater role in terms of being pro-active. ICC plays a role in coordinating competitions, but it has no role in scheduling as it is on members,” he said.

International cricket has resumed in England under bio-secure environment but with the coronavirus continuing to wreak havoc in other countries, the cloud of uncertainty continues to hover over the future.

On Monday, the ICC announced the Men’s Super League, an event that will provide a pathway to ODI World Cup qualifications and thus give 50-overs cricket some context.

Allardice said the league was devised in 2018 and ICC had then recommended establishing balance between ODIs and T20 International formats. “The rules around league were established, back in 2017-18, a decision was taken at that time that T20Is and ODis will be three-match series,” he revealed

“Earlier, it used to be five ODIs and a T20 International. Probably it changes the balance but when the league was designed, the countries agreed that there would be three ODIs and three T20 Internationals,” he added.

Cricket boards are experimenting with different formats and Allardice said the global body supports them in their endeavours but has no plans of expanding beyond the current three formats in international cricket.

“Look the ICC’s position is at the moment we have three international formats but members are encouraged to try out new format,” Allardice said. “We are focussed on these three formats (Tests, ODis, T20Is). We are aware of what’s happening in member countries but it has not come on the ICC radar as yet,” the GM put forth global body’s point.

He also rejected the notion that women’s cricket will take more hit than men’s due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Women’s cricket is as much affected as men’s cricket. The planning is going ahead for the event and the situation is being monitored,” he said.