"If you can’t accommodate three-tests, why bother with the finals at all" - Aakash Chopra slams ICC for WTC final format
Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra demanded a three-match series format for the World Test Championship (WTC) final to decide the winner. His remarks came on the sidelines of the WTC 2021-23 final between India and Australia at The Oval.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced the World Test Championship to provide a boost to Test cricket. The top nine teams over two years will play six bilateral series - three home and three away.
Although there is no standard number of fixtures decided for each team, the top two teams with the best win percentage on the points table will qualify for the WTC final. The winners of the WTC final are crowned champions for a span of two years.
Chopra, who played 10 Test matches for the Indian men's side between 2003 and 2004, lashed out at the ICC for its one-game final affair for the prestigious event. Following the example of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series final, he asked for three matches to decide the champions of the two-year WTC cycle.
"Find it really uncomfortable that you are okay to have a championship spread over two years…but can’t find time for a three-test series at the end of the 24 month cycle. While everybody claims that it’s the Ultimate Format, nobody has the time to give the respect it deserves," he wrote on his Twitter profile.
"If you can’t accommodate three-tests, why bother with the finals at all? The team that has topped the table over 2-years should be given the mace…as it used to be the case earlier. In any case, there’s no uniformity in terms of how many Tests each series should have," he added.
Australia and India lock horns in WTC 2021-23 final
In the 2021-23 cycle, Australia topped the charts with 11 wins in 19 Tests along with a win percentage of 66.67, while India sealed the second spot with a 58.8 win percentage.
India are making their second appearance in a WTC final, after losing to New Zealand a couple of years ago in Southampton. Australia, on the other hand, have qualified for the first time.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and put the Australians to bat first. The Aussies were 163/3 after 48 overs with Steve Smith and Travis Head present at the crease.