The World Test Championship (WTC) has undoubtedly brought a new level of excitement to Test cricket, providing a structured competition among the top teams in the world. 

However, with the exponentially increasing popularity of limited-overs cricket, cricket purists need to find a way to increase the viewership of the game to make the format self-sustainable. 

In this article, we explore alternate ideas to make the World Test Championship even more captivating, engaging, and appealing to cricket enthusiasts worldwide.

#1 Bonus Points System

To inject more excitement into the WTC, implementing a bonus points system could be a game-changer. 

Teams could earn extra points for achieving certain milestones during a Test match, such as winning by an innings, maintaining a pre-determined brisk innings run rate, or getting the opposition all-out. 

This approach would encourage teams to be more proactive and result-oriented, making each Test match more gripping and unpredictable.

#2 Day-Night Tests

While the introduction of day-night Test matches has gained popularity in recent years, the WTC could make it mandatory for at least one Test in every series to be played under lights. 

Day-night Tests have proven to attract larger crowds and television viewership due to the convenient timing for office-goers, making it a great way to enhance the popularity of the championship.

#3 A Four-way Final

Rather than having a single final test match to culminate the 2-year-long cycle, ICC may consider a playoff system where the top 4 teams play each other in the semifinal and final format. 

This will make the tournament more exciting, as bottom-ranked teams will have a higher opportunity to move on to the next stage of the WTC, making the game more popular.

#4 Introduction of Test-specific Superstars

To elevate the WTC’s appeal, cricket boards could identify and promote players who specialise in Test cricket. These Test-specific superstars would be given added recognition, endorsement opportunities, and incentives to focus on Test matches, further emphasising the importance of Test cricket and increasing its popularity.

#5 WTC All-Star Game

Taking inspiration from other sports like basketball and baseball, organising a WTC All-Star Game could be an intriguing addition to the championship. 

The best players from various teams could form two teams to compete in a fun exhibition match, adding a touch of entertainment to the tournament. 

In the pre-franchise cricket era, we had quite a few all-star matches. It won’t be a bad idea to bring it back to enhance the popularity of the test match format.

#6 Captains / Marquee Players Mic’d Up

To give fans an inside look at the dynamics and strategies during Test matches, mic’ing up the captains during specific sessions or even an entire Test could provide an unparalleled experience for viewers. 

This was tried during the Bi-centenary celebration match between MCC XI and Rest of the World XI at Lords, and the experience proved to be pretty unique for the fans. 

This initiative would not only entertain fans but also offer valuable insights into the mind of a captain during the heat of battle.

 #7 Fan Involvement

Incorporating fan engagement activities throughout the WTC could help create a stronger bond between the players and their supporters. Initiatives like fan polls for match decisions, interactive quizzes, and virtual meet-and-greets with players would make the championship more interactive and enjoyable for fans across the globe.

#8 Test Cricket Documentary Series

A compelling documentary series focusing on the journey of each participating team in the WTC would add a layer of emotional attachment for fans. The behind-the-scenes footage, team dynamics, and personal stories would humanise the players and create a deeper connection between the audience and the sport. 

We all enjoyed the web series “The Test,” telling us the tale of Australia’s comeback to international cricket post the Cape-Town debacle of 2018. Makers can take a cue from this and start making more engaging documentaries that try to share the human side of this high-profile game.

#9 Day 5 Fan Appreciation

Designating Day 5 of a Test match as “Fan Appreciation Day” could encourage more spectators to attend the final day of matches, especially when the game is poised for a thrilling finish. This could include special offers, giveaways, memorabilia, and interactions with players, making the final day of Test matches a memorable experience for all.

The Wrap

The World Test Championship has laid the groundwork for a more structured and competitive format of Test cricket. By implementing these alternate ideas, cricket boards and governing bodies can elevate the WTC’s status and take Test cricket to new heights of popularity and excitement. 

The combination of innovation, fan engagement, and a focus on Test cricket’s unique aspects will undoubtedly make the World Test Championship a truly unforgettable experience for players and fans alike.

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