Ultimate Test for WTC final is for the concept to survive long term in light of T20 global explosion

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: David Warner of Australia edges and is caught by KS Bharat of India off the bowling of Sharldul Thakur of India during day one of the ICC World Test Championship Final between Australia and India at The Oval on June 07, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The World Test Championship final is set to be the most watched five-dayer in the history of cricket’s oldest format but there’s a prevailing sense that traditionalists are fighting a losing battle. 

With the T20 revolution irrevocably changing cricket’s global landscape, the ICC is railing against the light by pumping up “the Ultimate Test” as a means to give the sport’s traditional concept additional meaning. 

But apart from the two final combatants – Australia and India – and its host nation, England, the rest of the cricketing world is putting less and less emphasis on Tests or appear powerless to stop their best players from prioritising T20 deals over much-lower central contracts with their national body. 

Just last week, Ireland’s high performance director Richard Holdsworth admitted that playing a Test at Lord’s against England was no longer the pinnacle for their team – qualifying for the T20 and ODI World Cups was a greater priority for them because of the financial windfalls they would deliver to the emerging cricketing nati

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