Host venues for 2023, 2025 WTC finals confirmed: Key details
The Oval in London has been locked in as the host venue for the 2023 ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final. Meanwhile, the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground will host the 2025 WTC final. The Ageas Bowl in Southampton played host to the 2021 WTC final wherein New Zealand were crowned champions after beating India. The dates for the finals are yet to be out.
As stated, the 2023 WTC final will be held at The Oval. The historic venue has previously hosted the finals of the ICC Men's Champions Trophy in 2004 and 2017. In 2021, India claimed their first Test win at The Oval in over 50 years. India beat England in the fourth Test to secure their second-ever win at this venue.
Lord's was supposed to host the 2021 WTC final. However, it later moved to the Ageas Bowl due to COVID-19 restrictions at that time. Over the years, Lord's, also known as the Mecca of Cricket, has played host to numerous momentous matches, including the 2019 World Cup final. In 1983, India defeated the mighty West Indies at Lord's to win the World Cup.
Last year, a defiant New Zealand outfit beat Team India in the WTC final in Southampton. With the rain-hit Test match getting into the sixth day (reserve), India offered little substance with the bat as the Kiwis were top-notch with the ball. Chasing a paltry target of 139, New Zealand got the job done in the third session.
Australia are still atop the ICC WTC table (2021-23) with a points percentage of 70. South Africa follow suit with 60%. Sri Lanka (53.33) are seated third, while India (52.08) and Pakistan (51.85) follow them. England are unmoved at the seventh spot, but two consecutive wins against SA saw them better their PCT (38.6). The top two teams will compete in the final.
Nine Full Members are part of the current WTC cycle that runs over a two-year period (2021-23). The incumbent cycle kicked off with the Test series between England and India last year. Notably, the cut-off date for the matches will be March 31, 2023. Each country is bound to play six series - three home and as many away.