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WTC is great for Test cricket, says Steve Waugh


ANI Cricket
Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh has lent his support towards the World Test Championship (WTC), saying the tournament will be great for Test match cricket.
"I think it's great for Test match cricket. I played for 18 years and many people said we were the number one Test side in the world, but I think unless you hold up a trophy or you can get to that final game then you're not really sure," quoted Waugh as saying.
"I think Test cricket really needs this. You've got the T20 World Cup, the 50-over World Cup and you need something to hang your hat on if you're the best Test team in the world," he added.
Waugh said that a cricketer can truly judge his abilities in the longest format of cricket. Waugh added that WTC will be a great parameter to judge the team's success.
"As a player of the game, I still think that Test cricket is the only form of cricket where you can really, truly test yourself to your full capacity. I think players still want to be the best Test player they can be, and the best team so this is a great way to measure it," Waugh said.
The apex cricketing body, International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday had officially launched the inaugural WTC.
The championship will begin from August 1 as Australia and England will face each other in the Ashes. WTC will comprise of the top nine Test teams in the world (Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies).
"The World Test Championship is a fantastic initiative. We love playing Test cricket, it's the pinnacle for us, remains hugely popular in Australia and we're fortunate that it enjoys great support at home among players, the media and the public. To wear the baggy green is the ultimate for all Australian cricketers and if the World Test Championship helps to ensure that all countries make Tests a high priority then that has to be good news for the game in general and the continuing health of the format in particular," Australian skipper Tim Paine had said.
In the championship, a total of 71 Test matches will be played across 27 series over two years. The top two teams will then contest in the ICC World Test Championship final in June 2021 in the UK.
Points will be up for grabs during each match and each team will play three home and three away series. Each series will count for 120 points, distributed over the number of matches in a series.
For example, a two-match series will mean 60 points for each Test while a three-match series will give 40 points to each Test match. A tie will be 50 percent of the points available, whereas a draw will be a 3:1 points ratio.
The matches will be played in the same format as bilateral series but with the added context of a competition and one champion team. The number of matches in each series can vary between a minimum of two matches, to a maximum of five matches.
The first cycle of the WTC consists of only five-day matches and will include day-night matches. Only matches identified as part of the WTC will count towards the championship.

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First Published: Jul 30 2019 | 2:45 PM IST

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