Shastri takes dig at ICC for altering WTC rule

Ahmedabad, March 7

Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri today criticised the ICC for changing the qualification criteria for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, saying the governing body needs to stop “shifting goalposts”.

India reached the final after beating England 3-1 in the just-concluded series. However, Shastri wasn’t happy that midway through the event, ICC changed the qualification criteria from maximum points earned to maximum percentage points earned — this took India from the top of the points table to No. 3.

“If you ask me about first cycle, please don’t shift the goalposts,” Shastri said about WTC.

“I am sitting at home because of Covid-19 in the month of October with more points than any other team, 360 apparently… A week later without (us) knowing, some rule comes that we are going to go into the percentage system and we go from No. 1 to 3,” the coach said.

“Fine, that’s because of countries not wanting to travel, countries that are in the red zone. All acceptable and fine,” he added. “I want to understand the logic because now it’s like ‘what’s the way forward for me?’ Sitting 60 to 70 points ahead, I am told now you have to go to Australia and what you have to do? You have to beat Australia!”

“Now how many teams in last 10 years have beaten Australia?” he asked. “If you don’t beat Australia, you come back home and you have to then beat England 4-0 and get close to 500 points and you still don’t qualify? So we have had to dig deep and go down every hole and we have earned our stripes to be in the biggest of the them all — the World Test Championship final.” — PTI

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