India vs New Zealand: Southampton leads race to host ICC World Test Championship final

AFP
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 07, 2021, 10:54 AM(IST)

India vs New Zealand: Southampton leads race to host ICC World Test Championship final Photograph:( AFP )

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With the finalists of the much-awaited ICC World Test Championship (WTC) decided after India's thumping 3-1 series win over England, the Virat Kohli-led outfit will be facing New Zealand in the summit clash, scheduled to be played from June 18 to 22. The Lord's was slated to host the WTC final but the iconic ground is reportedly out of the race with Ageas Bowl in Southampton, Edgbaston in Birmingham and Old Trafford in Manchester three grounds battling to host the grand finale

With the finalists of the much-awaited ICC World Test Championship (WTC) decided after India's thumping 3-1 series win over England, the Virat Kohli-led outfit will be facing New Zealand in the summit clash, scheduled to be played from June 18 to 22.  

While the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday said that India and New Zealand will be locking horns in the final of the ICC World Test Championship, the venue of the match is yet to be decided. The Lord's was slated to host the WTC final but the iconic ground is reportedly out of the race with Ageas Bowl in Southampton, Edgbaston in Birmingham and Old Trafford in Manchester three grounds battling to host the grand finale, a report in Cricbuzz said that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has checked the readiness of the Ageas Bowl in Southampton with the stadium front-runner to host the final of ICC World Test Championship. 

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The Ageas Bowl in Southampton boasts a five-star hotel attached to the stadium and provides plenty of logistical and operational convenience in times of bio-secure bubbles. Southampton had hosted matches between England and West Indies, and Pakistan.   

"I can't give much information apart from the fact that there has been discussion about it," confirmed Southampton cricket boss Rod Bransgrove to Cricbuzz about an approach to stage the final at the Ageas Bowl. "I am the chairman of Southampton and I can say we have been asked to stage it and also inquired if Southampton is available. I don't know if anything has been finally decided as yet," Bransgrove said. 

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However, the spokesman for the Marylebone Cricket Club, which runs the Lord's ground, remained non-committal. 

"The MCC has been working with the ICC and the ECB in relation to planning for the World Test Championship Final. As yet, no definitive decision has been taken in relation to the location of the final. This will be announced by the ICC in due course," the spokesman for the MCC told Cricbuzz.  

The ICC is expected to announce the venue soon and the world body is also expected to reveal playing conditions for the inaugural final of WTC along with a reserve day. 

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