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Disrespect of World Test Championship is classic example of English exceptionalism


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This being English cricket, the Test summer of 2024 is already being considered a prelude to the challenges of 2025. But while the Ashes tour already permeates England’s thinking, one target is conspicuous by its absence.

Next summer, the World Test Championship final will be played at Lord’s. It will mark the end of the third edition of the competition. All three finals will have been staged in England; in all likelihood, the third will once again not include the hosts.

 

 

The default reaction to any mention of the World Test Championship within English cricket is to snigger, and regard it as a gimmick that they have little reason to care for. “Only the little people pay taxes,” the hotelier Leona Helmsley once said. In Test cricket, England seem to say that only the little people bother with acquiring Test Championship points.

In the first two editions of the World Test Championship, in 2019-21 and 2021-23, England came fourth. On the current table, after winning just three of their 10 Tests this cycle and incurring draconian penalties for bowling slow over rates, England sit rock bottom.

 

 

Two years ago, Australia were faced with a relatively low-key Test summer of their own, hosting West Indies and then South Africa. Before the first Test against West Indies, Australia captain Pat Cummins sought to give a new focus to the matches ahead, detailing his jealousy of New Zealand for winning the first World Test Championship.

 

 

“It probably didn’t hit us until the game was actually played, and you saw over there New Zealand did well and you wish you were there,” Cummins said. “It felt like a big missed opportunity that first one. So it certainly gives a bit more context to every series now, something big to play for.” 

Last June, Cummins lifted the World Test Championship at The Oval.

 

 

Virat Kohli is now in the rarefied group of cricketers to have won all three global white-ball trophies: the ODI and T20 World Cups, and the Champions Trophy. But there is still one international title missing.

In the changing room in Barbados as India celebrated their Twenty20 World Cup crown, outgoing head coach Rahul Dravid addressed Kohli. “All three white ticked, one red to go,” Dravid said. “Tick it!” Kohli will expect to be at Lord’s for next year’s World Test Championship final.

 

 

English cricketing exceptionalism has a long history. Until the 1950s, England paid players more for Ashes Tests, indicating that they did not regard all internationals as of equal importance. Into the 1960s, England routinely sent weakened sides when touring countries other than Australia. England’s appalling record in one-day international cricket between 1992 and 2015 was underpinned by a sense that it did not matter as much as Test cricket, an attitude out of sync with the rest of the world.

 

 

The culture of English cricket continues to view their performance in one series as the barometer. “We probably define our sense of worth too much by winning and losing Ashes series,” Andrew Strauss said in 2015, when he was England’s director of cricket. Since the World Test Championship launched five years ago, little has changed.

 

 

In 2021, then head coach Chris Silverwood framed the series against India – one of England’s biggest rivalries in its own right and also part of the World Test Championship – as mere preparation for the tour Down Under. “To get to where we want to be against Australia, we have to perform well in these Tests,” Silverwood said. England did not perform well in the Tests, and then lost the Ashes 4-0.

 

 

English cricket might act like it does not need the World Test Championship, but it emphatically needs Test cricket. And for all its flaws – the imbalanced schedule, the arcane points system and having a league that runs for almost two years – the Test Championship is the best solution that administrators have yet devised to protect the format’s vitality throughout the world.

 

 

Beyond the privileged three nations who can afford to play longer series against each other, two-match series have long since been the norm; not since South Africa hosted Pakistan in 2019 has a series not featuring Australia, England or India comprised three Tests. For the bulk of Test nations, the World Test Championship now provides the central focus to their five-day cricket: context to matches, and the chance to win a global title.

 

 

Even for Australia and India, the Test Championship is now essential to how their teams are judged. As Cummins and Kohli have made clear, they consider a two-year Test cycle as a failure if it does not culminate in playing – and preferably winning – the final. The Ashes will always be at the heart of England’s Test ambitions, but it should form part of a broader aim: regularly reaching, and winning, the World Test Championship final.

 

 

England sees itself as the nation where support for Test cricket is greatest. And yet, while lamenting that other nations do not treat the Test game with as much reverence, England can scarcely even feign interest in the five-day game’s sole global trophy.

 

The Telegraph

 

Edited by Tillu
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TBH, I would anyday prefer winning a series in Eng, Sa, Aus, Nz over WTC but still its prestigious.
It comes at number 5 in the list of priorities

This is not to say that what the Englishmen feel is true, that overrated Ben Stokes somehow thinks his team is legendary even though they got a phainty vs India and Couldnt win ashes in their own country.

 

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English used to trumpet their horn how they are interested in "real" cricket, and mock teams like India for focusing on fun cricket. WTC showed their real aukat when they never qualified for the final. So now they have no option but to save face and focus on Ashes. After all, there is no qualification for Ashes so they can toot their horn after being thumped by Aussies away and barely drawing at home. So now only Ashes is most important and nothing else. Bear in mind I never see Aussies say this, which is why they win everything including Ashes, WTC and world cups. 

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1 hour ago, Adamant said:

TBH, I would anyday prefer winning a series in Eng, Sa, Aus, Nz over WTC but still its prestigious.
It comes at number 5 in the list of priorities

This is not to say that what the Englishmen feel is true, that overrated Ben Stokes somehow thinks his team is legendary even though they got a phainty vs India and Couldnt win ashes in their own country.

 

Ben Stokes team is a joke. They got destroyed. They can cry to their mommas now

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Tillu said:

This being English cricket, the Test summer of 2024 is already being considered a prelude to the challenges of 2025. But while the Ashes tour already permeates England’s thinking, one target is conspicuous by its absence.

Next summer, the World Test Championship final will be played at Lord’s. It will mark the end of the third edition of the competition. All three finals will have been staged in England; in all likelihood, the third will once again not include the hosts.

 

 

The default reaction to any mention of the World Test Championship within English cricket is to snigger, and regard it as a gimmick that they have little reason to care for. “Only the little people pay taxes,” the hotelier Leona Helmsley once said. In Test cricket, England seem to say that only the little people bother with acquiring Test Championship points.

In the first two editions of the World Test Championship, in 2019-21 and 2021-23, England came fourth. On the current table, after winning just three of their 10 Tests this cycle and incurring draconian penalties for bowling slow over rates, England sit rock bottom.

 

 

Two years ago, Australia were faced with a relatively low-key Test summer of their own, hosting West Indies and then South Africa. Before the first Test against West Indies, Australia captain Pat Cummins sought to give a new focus to the matches ahead, detailing his jealousy of New Zealand for winning the first World Test Championship.

 

 

“It probably didn’t hit us until the game was actually played, and you saw over there New Zealand did well and you wish you were there,” Cummins said. “It felt like a big missed opportunity that first one. So it certainly gives a bit more context to every series now, something big to play for.” 

Last June, Cummins lifted the World Test Championship at The Oval.

 

 

Virat Kohli is now in the rarefied group of cricketers to have won all three global white-ball trophies: the ODI and T20 World Cups, and the Champions Trophy. But there is still one international title missing.

In the changing room in Barbados as India celebrated their Twenty20 World Cup crown, outgoing head coach Rahul Dravid addressed Kohli. “All three white ticked, one red to go,” Dravid said. “Tick it!” Kohli will expect to be at Lord’s for next year’s World Test Championship final.

 

 

English cricketing exceptionalism has a long history. Until the 1950s, England paid players more for Ashes Tests, indicating that they did not regard all internationals as of equal importance. Into the 1960s, England routinely sent weakened sides when touring countries other than Australia. England’s appalling record in one-day international cricket between 1992 and 2015 was underpinned by a sense that it did not matter as much as Test cricket, an attitude out of sync with the rest of the world.

 

 

The culture of English cricket continues to view their performance in one series as the barometer. “We probably define our sense of worth too much by winning and losing Ashes series,” Andrew Strauss said in 2015, when he was England’s director of cricket. Since the World Test Championship launched five years ago, little has changed.

 

 

In 2021, then head coach Chris Silverwood framed the series against India – one of England’s biggest rivalries in its own right and also part of the World Test Championship – as mere preparation for the tour Down Under. “To get to where we want to be against Australia, we have to perform well in these Tests,” Silverwood said. England did not perform well in the Tests, and then lost the Ashes 4-0.

 

 

English cricket might act like it does not need the World Test Championship, but it emphatically needs Test cricket. And for all its flaws – the imbalanced schedule, the arcane points system and having a league that runs for almost two years – the Test Championship is the best solution that administrators have yet devised to protect the format’s vitality throughout the world.

 

 

Beyond the privileged three nations who can afford to play longer series against each other, two-match series have long since been the norm; not since South Africa hosted Pakistan in 2019 has a series not featuring Australia, England or India comprised three Tests. For the bulk of Test nations, the World Test Championship now provides the central focus to their five-day cricket: context to matches, and the chance to win a global title.

 

 

Even for Australia and India, the Test Championship is now essential to how their teams are judged. As Cummins and Kohli have made clear, they consider a two-year Test cycle as a failure if it does not culminate in playing – and preferably winning – the final. The Ashes will always be at the heart of England’s Test ambitions, but it should form part of a broader aim: regularly reaching, and winning, the World Test Championship final.

 

 

England sees itself as the nation where support for Test cricket is greatest. And yet, while lamenting that other nations do not treat the Test game with as much reverence, England can scarcely even feign interest in the five-day game’s sole global trophy.

 

The Telegraph

 

England as a Nation is a farce. 

Joke nation in cricket. 

In tests. They never once truly dominated test cricket apart from the amateur era where cricket wasn't taken seriously as a sport. 

 

It's all bogus. They got thrashed by India. They took it seriously. They just couldn't beat India. They still talk about their 2012 win till date. It matters as much as ashes for them.

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