India and New Zealand will be up against each other in the final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) this summer. The much-anticipated game is scheduled to take place from June 18. India booked their place in the final last week after winning the four-match Test series against England at home. The Virat Kohli-led side needed 70 points from the available 120 in the series to progress to the final but eventually collected 90 points.
India started the series on a poor note as England stunned them by 217 runs. However, the home side bounced back in style to win the following three games in a convincing manner. New Zealand, on the other hand, qualified for the final after Australia decided to pull out of the South Africa tour on medical grounds.
Meanwhile, recent reports suggested that Lord’s might not host the final. The iconic stadium in London was originally scheduled to host the game but recent reports stated that Southampton had emerged as the front runner. Old Trafford in Manchester and Edgbaston in Birmingham were also in contention but Southampton was considered as the front runner because of the facilities at the ground.
Sourav Ganguly confirms venue for WTC final
Ahead of the final this summer, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has confirmed the venue for the contest. Speaking to India Today, Ganguly has confirmed that the WTC final will be held in Southampton. The International Cricket Council is yet to confirm the venue but the former India skipper is certain the final will take place at the Ageas Bowl.
“I’m looking forward to attending the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand in Southampton. Yeah, it is in Southampton. It was decided a long time ago. Due to COVID and they [in Southampton] have the hotel absolutely close. When England resumed play after COVID, they had a lot of matches in Southampton due to the same reason,” Sourav Ganguly said.
Ganguly was further asked about the importance of the WTC final. The BCCI boss was asked if the WTC is up in the ranks with the 50-over World Cup. In reply, Ganguly subtly hinted that the tournament still has a lot of room for improvement. Ganguly said that things will be clearer when each team gets to play the same number of games. He also praised Team India players for their journey and congratulated them for making it to the WTC final.
“Every trophy has its own value. The 50-over World Cup is an amazing spectacle. It (WTC) was a bit complicated this time because of the pandemic. We will see when every team has played an equal number of games,” said Ganguly.
“Massive achievements given what the players have gone through. Right from the IPL in September to early March and they are not finished yet. A good 6 months in bio-bubbles and what they have achieved is fantastic. Looking forward to the WTC final and I hope we get past New Zealand. Congratulate Rahane, Kohli, everyone involved. The way Pant won India the Brisbane game was excellent,” he added.