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ICC confident WTC final will go ahead as planned in June in the UK

By Bet Barter

April 20, 2021

The ICC is confident that the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand will go ahead as scheduled in Southampton in June. This came after the UK put India on its travel red list on a preventive basis. The final of the WTC is going to be played in a bio-secure bubble at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. The final, which was eventually supposed to take place in Lord's ground in London, was shifted to the Rose Bowl in Southampton owing to COVID-19 restrictions. It will be played from June 18-22, with 23 being a reserve day. New Zealand was the first side to make it to the ICC World Test Championship final. India then joined the Black Caps following their series win over England.

India and New Zealand qualified for the final encounter after coming first and second in the WTC standings, respectively. The men in blue ended with the highest percentage points, whereas New Zealand came second to set up the thrilling clash. The Ageas Bowl in Southampton captivates a five-star hotel attached to the stadium. It also provides a good deal of logistical and operational convenience in times of bio-secure bubbles. Previously, Southampton had hosted matches between England and West Indies, and Pakistan. 

India scheduled to play five Tests against England in August

The Indian cricket team has experienced only one loss in its ICC World Test Championship campaign so far. That defeat came against NZ in 2020. India is currently leading the tournament points table with 72.2% points, whereas New Zealand is placed second with 70.0%. Despite winning one game more than New Zealand, Tim Paine & Co. missed the second spot by just 0.8%. It was later disclosed that a slow over-rate penalty for the Melbourne Test against India had cost the Kangaroos their berth in the summit clash. The Indian cricket team sealed a memorable 2-1 Test series win in Australia earlier this year. This propelled them closer to the final berth. A 3-1 win over England at home sealed the deal for the Men in Blue. Virat Kohli now has a great chance to win his maiden ICC trophy with the senior national team.

The Indian women's cricket team is also planned to tour the UK in June. The men's cricket team is going to play five Tests in England starting August 4. Talking about the COVID situation in India, the country has reported 2,73,810 new positive cases in the last 24 hours. This is the highest single-day surge, taking the country's COVID-19 caseload past the 1.5 crore mark.

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