In his column for the Times of India, Laxman wrote, “The World Test Championship is a welcome addition to the cricketing landscape. I must compliment the International Cricket Council for lending greater context and relevance to the longer format. Especially for players like me who never played in a World Cup, to be able to compete in a World Championship is massive. I know cricket has evolved tremendously and we have made a lot of adjustments to provide entertainment and enjoyment to the fans, but it is important to make sure that we also look after the players. Towards that end, the WTC is a step in the right direction.”
But Laxman advised greater than a couple of modifications to make the World Test Championship extra attention-grabbing.
“I would like a few changes, though, to make it more inclusive and competitive. While the two-year cycle is just about right, I feel all 12 Test-playing nations should be a part of the competition. Maybe they could be split into two groups of six, with the two group toppers playing a best-of-three final. What that will mean is that the teams ranked in the bottom half of the ICC Test ratings can host some of the top sides, which will not only reignite interest in those respective countries but also bolster their financial resources. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to bridge the already humongous gulf between the big names and the rest,” Laxman added.
Laxman additionally advised modifications within the factors system which has been a speaking level for fairly a while now.
“The points system could do with a tweak as well. Perhaps the way to go would be to cap all WTC series at three matches. The marquee series, like the Ashes or India vs England or Australia, could still be over four or five Tests, but only the first three should be taken into consideration for points for the WTC. That will remove the inequity that exists now, where the same number of points are offered for both a two-Test and a five-Test series,” Laxman opined.
Laxman advised giving extra factors to groups for abroad Test victories.
“I’d like to see additional weightage given for wins overseas. It’s definitely not easy winning at home, but you have an edge because you know your conditions. Winning away is that much more challenging, and should come with a greater reward. Further, for the first Test of the series alone, the toss can be done away with and the visiting captain given the option to choose to bat or field first. That will lead to a more level-playing field, as will the insistence on meeting minimum standards when it comes to pitch preparation so that home advantage is not abused,” Laxman concluded.