New Zealand vs England series is not part of World Test Championship - Here’s why

Updated on Nov 25, 2019 02:19 PM IST
Despite being a closely fought Test match and despite it being played between two highly-skilled teams, the series between New Zealand and England is not part of the World Test Championship.
England's Stuart Broad shakes hands with New Zealand's Kane Williamson(REUTERS)
England's Stuart Broad shakes hands with New Zealand's Kane Williamson(REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Over the past week, there were three Test matches which were going on simultaneously. Two of these, India vs Bangladesh and Australia vs Pakistan, were Test matches but only on paper. India smashed Bangladesh in less than three days while Australia got the better of Pakistan in four days by an innings and six runs.

However, the match between New Zealand and England went down to the final session of the final day and England, despite showing good fight, fell short and New Zealand bagged the match. It was a proper graft, it was pure Test cricket, but, well, it was not part of the World Test Championship. Yes, it was just another Test match and the result will have absolutely no bearing on the points table. So, we can all raise our eyebrows and question the scheduling all over again, but before we jump up and down, let us first understand, why this happened in the first place.

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This is an anomaly - the introduction of the World Test Championship has impacted on the meaningfulness of this series. The format of the tournament mandates that each country would play six series under the Test Championship, with three of those being played at home while the others would be played overseas.

Hence, the series between England and New Zealand falls into the section of Test matches which will not be a part of the Test Championship because had it been a part, England would have played an away series more, which would have left the rest of the scheduling awry.

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This World Test Championship is a good contest, but the scheduling is far from ideal. Indian captain Virat Kohli also suggested a format to make the World Test Championship more even... “A more balanced format would be one series home, one away. We are playing very good cricket but we have played only two Tests away,” said Kohli after the win against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens.

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