Azhar hopes ICC extends World Test Championship schedule

LAHORE: Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali on Thursday expressed the hope that the International Cricket Council (ICC) while considering the global impact of coronavirus pandemic would extend the date of final of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) scheduled for June next year.

“In the current situation it seems difficult that all member countries will complete their schedule of the World Test Championship matches. Therefore, I hope the ICC considers this situation to make an extension as it will be fair [only] if all member countries complete their respective schedule of the Tests.” the 35-year-old Azhar said while talking to reporters through a video conference on Thursday.

In order to qualify for the WTC final, Pakistan had to win at least three to four Test matches of the two series they are scheduled to play against England and New Zealand, the right-handed batsman noted. “Our first priority is to reach the final.”

However, Pakistan’s away three-Test series in England scheduled to begin on July 30 during the forthcoming summer is currently in the doldrums because of the pandemic as the England and Wales Cricket Board has suspended its all cricket activities till May 28.

Meanwhile, Azhar backed the idea of playing cricket behind closed doors, due to the virus, and added that steps in this regard could be taken without compromising public health.

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