Tim Southee New Zealand World Test Championship Final

Tim Southee wants more Tests in New Zealand’s calendar after WTC win


Following his team’s landmark victory over India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, experienced paceman Tim Southee wants more Tests added to New Zealand’s calendar during the league’s next cycle spanning 2021-23.

New Zealand played only 11 Tests during the first cycle of WTC, most of them in two-match series, before reaching the tournament final and winning it in Southampton. They were busier than only Bangladesh (7 Tests), with even West Indies (13) playing more games across the two-year period.

On the contrary, reflecting cricket’s alarming gap in terms of finance and resources, India and England featured in 17 and 21 Tests, respectively, before the former took the field in the final and added an 18th fixture to their kitty in the first cycle.

“I guess one of our strengths as a side is that we sort of just concentrate on what’s put in front of us, and what we try and achieve as a group, [but] I guess playing more Test cricket as a whole would be nice,” Tim Southee was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

“But yeah, I think it’s tough with future tours [programme] already being in place up to now, but just being able to perform at this level for a number of years and being a consistent side, I guess we have that right to play more Test cricket.”

Tim Southee

Tim Southee bats for more Tests in New Zealand’s WTC campaign

Tim Southee wants more Tests in New Zealand’s calendar after WTC win

Only one of New Zealand’s five series which they played during the WTC league stage featured a third Test match, something that Tim Southee wishes to see changed when they play in the future after their inspiring performance and win at the Rose Bowl.

Much to his and the fans’ disappointment, however, it is likely that most of New Zealand’s planned series in the next cycle of WTC will also be two-match affairs.

The Kiwis play Bangladesh, South Africa and Sri Lanka at home and India, England and Pakistan away in the next two-year period accounting towards the mega final in 2023.

While matches can be added in the future, currently only one of those six series is planned as three-match contest (a total of 13 Tests only) in the WTC until 2023 final.

On the other hand, India, their co-finalists in Hampshire, have 19 Tests scheduled in the next two years, most of them included in series against Australia (at home) and England, South Africa (away). The Indians will also play New Zealand, Sri Lanka (home) and Bangladesh (away) in the next WTC league stage.

“As players, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game, and you always want to play more,” Southee said. “It’s something that we haven’t played a lot of, three-match-series, so to be able to test yourself over three matches rather than just two matches – it’s obviously a lot more taxing, it’s a tougher battle to get yourself up and go again over three matches, but that’s the beauty of it, and it’s part and parcel of it. It’s tough cricket, and you want to play as much as you possibly can.”

To resolve the problem of an unequal fixture list, the ICC will be following the percentage-based points system from the next WTC cycle. The final standings will be determined by the percentage of points won by teams from those matches that they contested. Also, all matches, independent of the series length, will be carrying an equal weightage in terms of points, unlike the first cycle.

A cricket writer by heart and profession. Currently at work for CricXtasy. Previously with Circle of Cricket. You can find him on Twitter @crickashish217