The Oval will host WTC final from June 7: Reports
The 2023 ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final will likely begin on June 7 at The Oval, London. However, the ICC is yet to announce the final schedule for the iconic clash. There will be a Reserve day to make up for the time lost due to the weather. The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, hosted the 2021 WTC final wherein New Zealand beat India.
Why does this story matter?
- The WTC final will begin close to the summit clash.
- Notably, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will finalize the schedule soon.
- It is understood that the IPL final could be either on June 4 or May 28.
- If India reach the WTC final, the BCCI would strike a balance in terms of logistics and player availability.
The Oval has previously hosted Champions Trophy finals
Earlier this year, the ICC had announced that the 2023 WTC final will be held at The Oval. The 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 here.
Lord's was supposed to host the 2021 WTC final
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.
Decoding the WTC standings (2021-23 cycle)
Australia are still atop the ICC WTC table (2021-23) with a points percentage of 72.73. South Africa follow suit with 60%. Sri Lanka (53.33) are seated third, while India (52.08) and Pakistan (46.67) follow them. West Indies and England are placed sixth and seventh with 45 and 41.67 percentage points, respectively. The top two teams will compete in the final.
Key details about the WTC (2021-23)
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.
New Zealand won the 2021 WTC final
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.