India vs New Zealand: Kane Williamson hails ICC's decision to introduce Test league as 'positive step'

Williamson said, "It's really a positive step forward to have to a championship to give Test cricket a little more meaning and it's great for the viewer as well.

PTI, October 15, 2017

Mumbai: Visiting New Zealand team skipper Kane Williamson on Sunday hailed the decision of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce a Test league, terming it a "positive step".

The ICC is set to start a nine-team Test league and a 13-team ODI league in 2019 and 2020 respectively, aiming to bring "context and meaning to bilateral cricket".

File photo of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. Reuters

File photo of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. Reuters

In the first edition of the league, each side will play four home and four away series each comprising three ODIs, moving to all teams playing each other from the second cycle onwards.

Asked about the ICC's decision at a media conference in Mumbai, Williamson said, "It's really a positive step forward to have to a championship to give Test cricket a little more meaning and it's great for the viewer as well.

"When we do start that, there will be a lot more clarity around rankings. The viewer can see where teams are progressing and what each game stands for. In the past, although Test cricket was the pinnacle of the game, we were probably guilty of having a volume of cricket that perhaps people hadn't quite understood what relevance was on it, where teams went after victories or losses. Now, there will be a lot more clarity around that," he explained further.

The ICC board had approved a trial of four-day Tests to run through until World Cup 2019 and Williamson was neither for nor against this decision of the world governing body.

"Four-day first-class cricket is not new to anybody. Everyone in world cricket plays four-day first-class cricket. Time will tell what evolves in that area, but the Test game over five days is still fairly effective. We are seeing so many results these days and the brand of cricket is certainly improving. Whatever way we go, it's important that it benefits the game," he added.

Meanwhile, Kiwi left-arm pace bowling all-rounder Mitchell McClenaghan had turned down the New Zealand cricket board's contract and, instead, has inked a deal with an Australian Big Bash T20 team.

Asked about it, the visiting team's coach Mike Hesson said they respected the decision taken by the left-arm pacer and did not rule out more cricketers from following this step.

"We could well be confronted with those situations in the future years and it's very much an individual thing. We very much respect Mitch's decision at this stage of his career.

"Certainly, pace bowling is an area where we do have quite a lot of competition. But yes, I think it will affect us further as time goes on," the coach added.

Updated Date: Oct 15, 2017





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 3182 91
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6470 127
2 India 5819 121
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3617 103
6 Australia 3699 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3972 132
2 India 4601 124
3 Australia 2570 122
4 England 2448 117
5 New Zealand 2542 116
6 South Africa 2058 114