The International Cricket Council (ICC) is mulling over changing the location of the final of the World Test Championship between India and New Zealand. Initially, the home of cricket, Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, was supposed to host the final from June 18th to June 22, with one reserve day. However, now the governing body is pondering to change the venue due to the logistical issues teams will face.
The ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have enquired a couple of other grounds for the availability of which the Ageas Bowl or The Rose Bowl in Southampton is the frontrunner to host the marquee event. Other grounds in contention are the Old Trafford in Manchester and Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Southampton almost certain to host the ICC WTC final due to logistical convenience for players in the bio-bubble
The attached hotels with the Ageas Bowl in Southampton is one of the key reason to be picked over other ground as such in case of lockdown and the bio-bubbles making easier logistical operations.
Last year, when cricket resumed in England in the pandemic era, England hosted West Indies and Pakistan in Manchester and Southampton.
“The venue will be announced soon. Lord’s is not the venue ICC is planning for. ICC will be advised by the England and Wales Cricket Board and its own medical health professionals to decide on the venue for the final. There could be a case of creating a similar bio-bubble as the ECB had for the last home summer,” an ICC source was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Rod Bransgrove, chairman of Hampshire County Cricket Club in Southampton, in implicit terms told Cricbuzz that he has been contacted to host Virat Kohli’s and Kane Willamson’s sides for the WTC final.
“I can’t give much information apart from the fact that there has been discussion about it. 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 told Cricbuzz.