The second WTC (World Test Championship) is about to conduct its final match, and cricket fans are thrilled about it.
While the fans are excited to see India vs. Australia compete, many are wondering why the finals are only hosted in England. Starting in 2019, WTC was ICC’s attempt to keep Test cricket thriving in modern times.
Despite the popularity of T20 cricket, the Test event has been popular among fantasy players on the best cricket betting sites. It is because the cricket body brought together the world’s best teams to conduct a two-year-long tournament. Besides the massive 1.6 million dollars winning prize, another thing that caught everyone’s eye was the finals reserved spot.
Currently, only England is allowed to hold the WTC finals. The nation has a rich cricket history, boasts good playing conditions, and has a top-class infrastructure. These factors make England the ideal spot to hold the finals for a Test championship.
However, seeing the popularity WCT has amassed, cricket fans across the globe are demanding a change. Given the growing interest and debate around the reserved spot, it is possible that ICC can allow other nations to hold the WCT finals as well. Let’s see why it should be done and how difficult it will be to do so.
Research and Analysis
As mentioned already, England has several virtues that make it an ideal spot to hold the WTC finals. The nation has a rich cricket heritage, its weather is suitable for long games, and its time zone bodes well with cricket-loving nations. So will it be smart to shift the WTC finals spot to some other country?
The shift will certainly come with several benefits. Changing the spot to nations like Australia or India will attract hordes of cricket fans to the stadiums. It will also increase the viewership around the subcontinent, leading to more fan engagement.
Moreover, ICC and BCCI can use the opportunity to allow fans to witness practice sessions and post-match theatrics. Trying out different regions will also expose the players to different playing conditions, creating a diverse cricket match.
However, shifting the finals spot can lead to some issues too. The prime issue the nations will face is completing the infrastructure requirements. Even for a cricket-loving nation like India, it will be challenging to create an ideal Test pitch for the WTC finals.
Not only that, the harsh weather conditions in the subcontinent make it highly adverse for overseas players. Where India fails in these factors, other regions will face difficulties even meeting the financial implications of the match.
As the wealthiest cricketing board, BCCI can manage to hold such events, but other nations do not boast the same spending capabilities. Moreover, the logistical consideration of a match as huge as the WCT finals require will be hard to meet.
Identifying Suitable Host Countries
Even with such conditions, will it be possible for other nations to hold the WCT finals? Yes, it is.
However, the only two suitable candidates for the job are India and Australia. Both nations have the biggest cricket fan following in the world.
Their cricket heritage goes decades back, and they can meet the infrastructure needed to hold the finals. While India is yet to produce a ground that matches the standards of the Lords, its HPCA Stadium is suitable for the WTC finals. On the other hand, Australia boasts grounds like MCG that are ideal for Test cricket.
Both nations have the capacity to contain massive crowds. Moreover, the countries have shown impeccable accommodation, transportation, and security throughout their cricket history.
Another way to reform the World Test Championship is by using the rotational mode. ICC already uses the model for the ODI World Cup, so doing so for the WTC makes sense.
In the rotational model, different countries get the chance to hold the event in a predefined sequence. For the WTC finals, it will make sense to offer equal opportunity to nations like India and Australia.
Doing so creates a celebratory environment cherished by cricket fans. Moreover, it allows players to enjoy different cricketing cultures, engaging fans across the world.
If the rotational model is to be established, it would require a collaborative effort from multiple cricketing boards.
Given the stature India holds in cricket, it would make sense for the BCCI to join hands with ICC for such an event. It would remove any boundaries between the boards to choose the finest pitches and grounds.
Additionally, it will allow the BCCI to invest in the infrastructure of the stadium and the hotels where the players will stay. Holding such a massive event for multiple days requires a transparent collaboration between the governing bodies. Otherwise, the event might fail.
Addressing Challenges and Mitigation Strategies
The financial arrangements to hold the WTC finals will require cricketing boards to dedicate a committee. The governing body can decide the ideal stadium and city for the match
by using former players, experts, and board members. Moreover, the parties together can figure out the ground size, pitch condition, and crowd capacity for the game. Such complex decisions require cricket expertise, careful planning, and resource allocation.
To try out the rotational model from the next WTC, ICC needs to start planning as soon as the 2021-2023 cycle ends.
The cricket board needs to explore different governing bodies that are suitable for the job. The final nation should be decided before the year ends, allowing them enough time for preparation.
The next step on the list will be finalizing a committee to oversee the overall preparation. The members will ensure the event is held in a suitable city with apt accommodation, transportation, and playing conditions.
Given the massive cost the entire process will exude, the boards will need complete assistance from the stakeholders. Getting enough funds to ensure everything is executed smoothly is key for a renowned cricketing event such as the WTC finals.
A question that haunts several cricket enthusiasts in the wake of the WTC finals is why only England is allowed the honor to hold the finals.
The nation provides the ideal cricket and hosting condition for the event, which most nations lack. However, it might be time for ICC to allow other countries to host the WCT finals.
The process will require the nation to take care of multiple aspects, such as playing conditions, transportation, accommodation, and infrastructure.
Given the growing popularity of the sport, achieving such conditions is not an impossible task. However, the complexities surrounding the task can only be simplified with the collaboration of multiple cricketing boards.
It will require numerous considerations and discussions to finalize and prepare an apt stadium. If ICC is to execute the rotational model for the WCT, the board must act on it as soon as the final between India and Australia wraps up.
The board must finalize a nation before 2024 so that the necessary requirements can be met before the next finals.