Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has called for the extension of ICC World Test Championship as the cricketing schedule has gone haywire in wake of the coronavirus-enforced global lockdown. Also Read - Coronavirus: Should Delhi Hospitals be Reserved For Residents Only? 40% For, 60% Against CM Arvind Kejriwal's Idea
Pakistan’s second Test against Bangladesh which was to be played in April, part of the championship, has been postponed. And it’s likely that more cricket tournaments will be affected in the coming months unless the virus is contained. Also Read - Mohammed Shami Confident of Getting Reverse Swing Despite Saliva Ban in Cricket Due to COVID-19
To ensure equal opportunities for each team to make it to the final, Misbah has suggested to extend the current cycle to accommodate rescheduled matches. “I just think that all teams must get equal opportunities in the championship even if matches are rescheduled,” Misbah said during a video conference with the media on Tuesday. Also Read - Coronavirus: With 2,287 New Cases Maharashtra at 72,300; Gujarat Reaches 17,632 With 415 Fresh Cases
The current Test championship cycle runs from 2019-2021.
“Whenever cricket resumes all teams should get equal opportunity in the ICC World Test Championship to try to play in the final. The tournament can be extended beyond 2021. The tournament should be extended that is my view. That is the only way we can find and end the event in a balanced way. Matches can be rescheduled if the event is extended,” he said.
ICC has hinted it will seek the advice of its member boards to arrive at a solution for the matches which have been or will be hit by the global pandemic.
Pakistan will next tour England in July-August for a three-match Test series. With players being asked to remain indoors, they are unable to make use of the facilities to practice or train.
But Misbah says he has asked all the centrally contracted players to follow a customised training regimen prepeared by their trainers to ensure fitness.
“I have been in touch with most of the players including centrally contracted players even trainer is in touch with them we are giving them and sending them plans according to their equipment at home to remain in shape as a team. I want the physical condition of players to be what is required in Test cricket whenever cricket resumes,” he said.
He also admitted that the entire staff is mentally ready for pay-cut should the scenario arise with several global sports organisation taking the step to ride the financial storm triggered by coronavirus. “When new contracts come we will see situation and take the right decisions and players will have to understand and it will not be a one-way decision everyone is mentally ready for this situation,” he said.