WTC Final: Didn't hit us until the game was actually played, says Cummins on missing 2021 finale

London, Jun 3 (IANS): Ahead of their first World Test Championship final appearance, Australia skipper Pat Cummins stated that the side was hit by the realisation of a missed opportunity when India and New Zealand played the inaugural finale of the championship in 2021.

Australia was forced to miss the 2021 WTC final because they were docked points for slow over-rates, as New Zealand became inaugural winners of the championship. But they are all set to play in the 2023 WTC final against India at The Oval from June 7-11.

Australia finished as the table toppers in the 2021-23 WTC cycle, with their only series defeat coming to second-ranked India earlier this year as they went down 2-1 in the sub-continent.

"We've got India in the World Test Championship final first, which I think a lot of people forgot. I think being new, it probably didn't hit us until the game was actually played, and you saw over there (in England) New Zealand did well and you wish you were there," Cummins was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Talking about the concept of WTC, Cummins said, "It feels like second time around it's got a little bit more on it. It felt like a big missed opportunity that first one. So it certainly gives a bit more context to every series now, something big to play for."

"The big series, say Ashes or India series where you play four or five Test matches, are obviously big battles, whereas the more common series where you play two or three in a series, it (the World Test Championship) gives them a bit more global context and something a bit extra to play for."

Despite the establishment of the WTC and a one-off final, the proliferation of T20 leagues continues with UAE, South Africa and now USA entering the scene with their domestic T20 competitions in an already-hectic cricketing schedule. Cummins believes keeping the want of playing international cricket high will be a challenge.

"It's been coming for a while, but I think it is here now. International cricket doesn't have a monopoly on players' time, like it did in the past. The IPL changed that a decade ago, but there's just going to be more and more content that creeps in, so I think we've got to be proactive about that."

"We have to keep making playing for Australia as special as we can, keeping a high performance to get every single player wanting to play for Australia as much as we can."

"That's going to be the challenge. I think it's upon us now, and we've got to start thinking about that quite deeply. I think fast-forward a few years time, a 12-month international calendar might look a little bit different," he concluded.



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