As England and India get ready to contest what will be the 2,000th Test match ever played, the International Cricket Council has promised to protect the "pinnacle form of the game".
Next week's first of a four-match series at Lord's, the 'home of cricket', will also be the 100th Test between England and India and is set to provide India star Sachin Tendulkar with his latest opportunity to become the first batsman to score a hundred international hundreds.
The series also gives England, currently third behind India and South Africa, the chance to leapfrog MS Dhoni's tourists at the top of the ICC's world Test rankings should they take the series by a margin of 2-0, 3-1 or better.
However, a 1-0 or 2-1 success for Andrew Strauss's side would leave India fractionally in front in the rankings.
There have long been fears for the future of Tests, which date back to when Australia played England at Melbourne in 1877, with current concerns based on the rise of Twenty20 -- the youngest of cricket's three international formats.
And while next week's match at Lord's is set to be a sell-out, crowds for Test matches elsewhere in the world have often proved patchy compared to those for 50 overs per side one-day internationals and the even briefer Twenty20.
However, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the advent of a World Test Championship, scheduled to culminate in an inaugural tournament between the leading nations in England in 2013, would help revive the five-day game.
"As we all prepare to celebrate the staging of the 2,000th Test match, one cannot imagine it to be any better than between two of the top teams in a series that carries with it the battle for top spot in the rankings," Lorgat said in an ICC statement issued Thursday.
"That is great context, and we will enhance that with the ICC World Test Championship in future."
And the South African administrator insisted: "Test cricket is the pinnacle form of the game, and we will continue to protect and promote it above all.
"It is our link to the game's origins; it is what defines greatness and it is recognised by the players as being the benchmark by which they wish to be graded and remembered.
"History has proven that no other form of the game can create memorable and meaningful moments like Test cricket can."