Holding heaps scorn on 'ridiculous' ICC Test Championships

By Sports Desk May 03, 2020

Legendary West Indies fast bowler turned commentator Michael Holding has heaped criticism on the newly introduced International Cricket Council (ICC) World Test Championships (WTC) series.

The competition, which was introduced in August of last year, is meant to be the premier championship for Test cricket.

The tournament features nine of the twelve Test-playing nations, each of whom plays a Test series against six of the other eight teams. Each series consists of between two and five matches, so although all teams will play six series (three at home and three away), they will not play the same number of Tests. Each team will be able to score a maximum of 120 points from each series and the two teams with the most points at the end of the league stage will contest the final.

Holding has however taken exception with both the format of the competition and its established points system.

"It doesn't work," Holding was quoted as saying by Wisden. "First of all, the points system is ridiculous. You can't play five Test matches and get the same amount of points if you play two Test matches,” he added.

"And secondly, at some point, you're going to have teams who know they cannot get to the final and so those Test matches aren't going to be all that entertaining. People know it's just another game."

Related items

  • Wade dropped from Australia Test squad for South Africa tour Wade dropped from Australia Test squad for South Africa tour

    Matthew Wade has been dropped from Australia's Test squad for their tour of South Africa, but he will head to New Zealand for a Twenty20 series.

    Wade, 33, came under fire for several poor dismissals as Australia suffered a 2-1 series loss to an injury-hit India.

    He finished the series with 173 runs at an average of 21.6 and was left out of the squad set to face South Africa, although the tour is subject to a final sign-off.

    In what is a similar squad to the one that went down to India, Alex Carey was included with Wade omitted, while Tim Paine remains captain despite criticism.

    "The squad is quite similar to that selected for the final two Tests of the recently-completed Border-Gavaskar series, with the exception of Matt Wade, who will join the Australian men's T20I squad in New Zealand, and the addition of Alex Carey, who has been in strong form with both bat and gloves," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said.

    "David Warner, Will Pucovski and Marcus Harris all opened at different stages against India and should be well-suited to the conditions in South Africa. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith were in good form during the Australian summer and Travis Head has an opportunity to reclaim the number five spot.

    "We've been very impressed with Cameron Green's first foray into Test cricket as an all-rounder batting at number six and we have great depth with the in-form Moises Henriques also in the squad.

    "Tim Paine was excellent at number seven against India and as a batsman, wicketkeeper and captain still has much to offer in the Test arena.

    "Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson offer wonderful spin bowling options for South African conditions. Similarly, we like the skill, execution and variation offered by our pace corps of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Sean Abbott and Mark Steketee."

    Wade was named in an 18-man T20 squad set to face New Zealand in five matches, beginning on February 22.

    Australia Test squad for tour of South Africa: Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.

    Australia T20 squad for tour of New Zealand: Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

  • 'I'm up for the fight' - Roach ready to put in hard work needed to take Bangladesh wickets 'I'm up for the fight' - Roach ready to put in hard work needed to take Bangladesh wickets

    West Indies fast bowler, Kemar Roach, insists he is ready for the challenge of trying to take wickets on Bangladesh pitches, despite the surfaces being more suited to spin-bowling.

    Despite the presence of several spinners in the squad, the 32-year-old is expected to lead the West Indies bowling line-up, along with fellow pace bowlers Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph.  If the dominance of spinners in the One Day International series, on pitches that offered very little assistance to pace bowlers, is anything to go by they will certainly have their work cut out.

    Having been in Bangladesh on two prior Test series, Roach would know first-hand what it takes to succeed on spin-friendly terrain.

    In 2011, he claimed 0 for 52 off 9 overs and 1 for 49 off 13.2 overs in the second Test of the series.  When he returned in 2018, he claimed 1 for 74 off 18 overs in the first Test and 2 for 61 in 25 overs as Bangladesh made a mammoth 500 in the second Test.

    “It mostly favours the spinners but I think there is enough there for fast bowlers to get something as well.  It’s just about having your plans, executing, and being disciplined,” Roach told members of the media via a press conference from Bangladesh on Tuesday.

    “It’s going to be tough, we know we have to bowl a lot more overs to get our rewards but once you are willing to put the work in you can get some rewards over here…so it’s going to be tough but I’m up for the fight.”

    The Windies have had recent success with pace bowling in Bangladesh with Tino Best claiming a five-for in 2012 and Fidel Edwards claiming 8 wickets in the 2011 series.

     

  • 'Extra time helps us prepare for 'difficult' conditions' - WI spinner Cornwall grateful for long lead-up to Test series 'Extra time helps us prepare for 'difficult' conditions' - WI spinner Cornwall grateful for long lead-up to Test series

    West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, believes the unusually long preparation time before the start of the Bangladesh Test series has been beneficial for players needing to get used to ‘difficult’ conditions.

    The regional team arrived in Bangladesh on January 10 and was required to quarantine for 7 days based on the country’s COVID-19 protocols.  Since clearing that hurdle, however, the Test team has been free to train and will not start the series until February 1.

    The Asian team is known for being particularly difficult to beat on their home turf and easily dispatched the West Indies 2-0 on their last visit in 2018.  One of those advantages is said to be the team’s pitches.

    “It has helped (extra time) you have to adapt to these conditions. These conditions are difficult to play in, so the more time we get to understand the conditions is the better it is for us,” Cornwall said.

    “It spins a bit more here.  It is always going to be drier than the Caribbean.  So, we just have to adapt to it and play to the best of our ability,” he added.

    The inexperienced West Indies team will be hoping for a better showing than in the recently concluded One Day International (ODI) series where the team was summarily swept aside 3-0.  The ODI batting line-up found the top class Bangladesh spinners on the surfaces a difficult task to cope with.   

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.