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Inaugural World Test Championship may be threatened if India, England fail to qualify

Sydney, Dec 21 (ANI): The World Test Championship, which is due to be staged in 2017, might reportedly be threatened if both England and India fail to qualify for the tournament.

The first Championship, which is due to replace the Champions Trophy one-day tournament popular with television advertisers, is scheduled to be held in England and is due to be part of the ICC’s offering to broadcasters next year when it begins to formally negotiate an eight-year rights deal to run from 2016-2023.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that initial talks with broadcasters have revealed little appetite for the competition, with the broadcasters indicating two key problems with the Test championship.

According to the broadcasters, first, there is no guarantee England and India will qualify for the tournament, which will be contested by the top four nations, and if England loses 4-0 to Australia, it will drop to fourth in the ICC table, holding only a slender lead over Pakistan.

The report mentioned that broadcasters do not want to risk financing a competition that could lack the two biggest nations in terms of generating advertising revenue although it is unlikely that both England and India would miss out in the qualifying phase for the competition, which began this year in May and ends in December 2016.

The second problem is finding a satisfactory format for a championship, while the problem of deciding a winner if the final ends in a draw has not been resolved, adding that another stumbling block is a continuing battle within the ICC over the sharing of income from global tournaments.

The ICC is hoping to raise around two billion dollars from its next television deal, a sum that will finance cricket around the world, the report added. (ANI)