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World Test Championship can follow Olympics path, feels Sachin Tendulkar

by Saurabh Sharma May 04, 2020 • 15:08 PM

New Delhi, May 4: The real challenge for any international cricketer comes with playing Test cricket. But with countries forced to postpone tours due to the coronavirus pandemic, questions have been raised on the fate of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship. It now looks almost impossible that the final can be played at Lord's in England in June 2021. However, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar has a solution.

Speaking to IANS, Tendulkar -- the only cricketer to play 200 Test matches -- said that a leaf can be taken from the books of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in how they dealt with shifting the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 and still decided to call it Tokyo 2020. Tendulkar feels some permutation and combination will need to be worked out to ensure the inaugural edition is completed without a hiccup.

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"I think so (need permutations and combinations to be worked out). With regards to the World Test Championship, if you see, the Olympics also has been postponed but it will still be called 2020 Olympics even though it will be now held in 2021. They are still calling it 2020 Olympics and in that way, we need to figure out a window where you know all these games which would have ideally happened at this time, how can we accommodate them in the future and yet continue with this championship.

"To start afresh would be a big thing. And if you have started something, it needs to be completed in the best and fairest manner where we are able to accommodate all the remaining matches and give everyone a fair chance. We could extend the time limit a bit because these tours also aren't cancelled totally, they have been postponed. So, along with the tours, the championship also gets postponed," he explained.

Another debate in recent times has been on whether players should be picked on the basis of age or fitness. With the fitness level of players across the world getting better, it is often questioned if seniors are blocking the way for youngsters to break into the scene and establish themselves on the international stage.

In fact, even in the Indian team, there have been questions on whether a young Rishabh Pant should get a longer rope or whether Wriddhiman Saha should don the wicket-keeping gloves in Tests. While Tendulkar doesn't wish to get into selection policies, he says that fitness should be the criteria, not age.

"Whoever is good should be given a go. It is not about a youngster or such things. If Saha is fit and fit enough to deliver, he should be given a go. Similarly, if Pant is fit, he should be....let the team management decide. I am not saying Saha should be ahead of Pant or Pant should be ahead of Saha. Let the team management decide that.

"If someone is fit, age criteria shouldn't come into play. So, to cut my answer short, if someone is fit, age criteria should not come into play and the team management should decide whoever needs to play," he pointed.