The third cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC) began with Bangladesh squaring off against Afghanistan in a one-off Test while England are hosting Australia for the Ashes 2023. Almost a month later, the runners-up of WTC final 2023, Team India will also begin its campaign with a 2-match series in the Caribbean.
India have been consistent in the past two WTC cycles, making it to both finals but haven’t won any of them. They lost the previous final to New Zealand in 2021 and recently, were beaten by Australia at The Oval. But as the third cycle begins, the fans will hope that India will have the prestigious mace in their cabinet in 2025.
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Meanwhile, former India opener Aakash Chopra has highlighted an interesting point. In his latest YouTube video, he questioned why doesn’t the ICC come up with a plan to conduct a blockbuster India vs Pakistan bilateral series in any of the WTC cycles.
“You don’t play against all teams. But this is WTC, it’s an ICC event. It has been 4 years now… can you imagine an ICC event without India vs Pakistan? This can never happen. It’s always at the start of the tournament so it gets off to a great start commercially. It gets the highest rating and people make money,” argued Chopra.
The diplomatic condition between India and Pakistan have restricted their respective cricket teams to engage in a bilateral series for close to two decades now. They only face each other in ICC events or the Asia Cups. They last faced each other in the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022 where India defeated the arch-rivals by 4 wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“So, is WTC not an ICC event?” Chopra continued. “It’s an ICC mace, they host the final. So, all the matches that take place in the cycle should be in the purview of the ICC. It will be 6 years, and you didn’t have a single India-Pakistan series.”