Lord's Cricket Ground to host next two WTC finals
The iconic Lord's Cricket Ground will host the ICC World Test Championship finals in 2023 and 2025. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the same on Wednesday following the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Notably, The Rose Bowl in Southampton hosted the inaugural WTC final in 2021 between India and New Zealand. The Kiwis came out as winners, defeating India by eight wickets.
Why does this story matter?
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.
Here is what ICC chair Greg Barclay said
ICC chair Greg Barclay, in a chat with BBC's Test Match Special, stated, "It's June so that rules out a number of other venues and we've got to get certainty around where it's hosted." "We're out of COVID-19 now so subject to arrangements being made and being able to be hosted out of Lord's I think that's the intention," he added.
WTC final (2019-21): New Zealand were crowned champions
Last year, A defiant New Zealand outfit beat Team India in the WTC final at the Rose Bowl 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.
Key details about the WTC (2021-23)
Nine Full Members are part of the WTC that runs over a two-year cycle (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.
WTC 2021-23: A look at the standings
South Africa occupy the top spot in the WTC (2021-23) standings with a points percentage of 71.43. They have five wins from seven Tests (two defeats). Australia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan follow the Proteas on the points table. India rank fifth with a points percentage of 52.08. They need to win each of their remaining six Tests to make it to the final.