No point of ICC Test Championship sans India vs Pakistan contests: Waqar Younis

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Championship format does not require India and Pakistan to play each other and Waqar Younis doesn’t seem happy with it.

cricket Updated: Oct 15, 2017 14:47 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Waqar Younis,ICC Test Championship,India vs Pakistan
Waqar Younis feels if India and Pakistan are not playing each other, then the ICC Test Championship has no meaning.(Getty Images)

Fast bowling legend Waqar Younis feels that the ICC Test Championship will serve no great purpose if it cannot get arch rivals India and Pakistan to play each other.

The ICC Test Championship requires each of the top nine Test nations to play six series each in a two-year cycle with the top two teams facing off in the final. The teams will play three away and as many home series in this period but the championship does not ensure that India and Pakistan will be playing each other.

(Read | International Cricket Council approves Test championship, ODI league)

India’s bilateral cricketing relations with Pakistan have been suspended since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and the two teams play each other only when they are participating in an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament.

Waqar feels if India and Pakistan are not playing each other, then the ICC Test Championship has no meaning.

“Test Championship is a good idea. They have to probably think hard how to go about it because with Pakistan not playing India; that is not going to the help the whole thing. If these two countries play each other it will not only help the Test Championship but also help the relations between the two countries,” he was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

(Read | India vs Pakistan Test freeze not to be touched in planned ICC cricket league)

“You cannot really call this a Test championship if the top two teams are not playing against each other. How can you consider the others as champions or as No.1 and No.2 without these two teams not playing against each other as they are the two top teams.”

Waqar has also urged India to consider playing against Pakistan at a neutral venue, like the United Arab Emirates where Pakistan have been playing all their home series since 2009. “If India want to play Pakistan, they can even play them in England or in Australia. It doesn’t matter where you play though the UAE is home for Pakistan.”

Waqar said he was surprised to see ICC coming up with a new ODI league in an already packed calendar for international teams.

(Read | Australia set to play more T20Is following ICC’s cricket revamp)

“I am surprised whether we have the time for such a league. We have got World Cup, Champions Trophy, T20 World Cup and so many ICC tournaments and so, I don’t think there is any room for it. We are trying to build this Test championship because we don’t want Test cricket to suffer. We feel that Test cricket, if not held in England or Australia, it is suffering in other parts of the world,” he said.

“If ICC can bring everyone on board and play each other, people will get interested. There should be a point system where teams can go up and down over two years and then you will know exactly which team is the best.”

No to four-day Tests

The former cricketer is also not open to the idea of reducing Test cricket to four-days.

“I am not for it and don’t believe in it. Test match cricket has been there for hundreds of years. I can understand introducing pink ball to pull in the crowd but any other alteration to Test cricket, I am not for it. I want to keep that beauty of Test match cricket,” he said.

“We saw day-night Test cricket doing well in England and in Australia. We haven’t seen it in India yet and we need to see how it works in India and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, a lot will depend on the weather. We need to pick the right weather for it.”

First Published: Oct 15, 2017 14:46 IST