The International Cricket Council has announced that the World Test Championship of 2023 will be played at the Oval in June 2023 and the final of the 2025 World Test Championship will be played at the Lords.
After the first edition of 2021, the World Test Championship was held at Southampton where New Zealand ended up being the Champions after a nail-biting finale, the ICC has decided to continue this new tradition. The top two teams in the current ICC test ranking that are currently leading the pack are South Africa and Australia and they will square off against each other.
Before they play the test championship final, they will also play a three-match heads-up test series from December to January. This series shall have a direct bearing on the test rankings. India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan are also close to their points tally and will be sniffing around for any possible chances of getting into the equation.
The World Test Championship Final is likely to commence in the first week of June and even though ICC has not made the dates official, experts opine June 7th- 11th to be a tentative date for the event. There will also be a provision for an extra date in case a day is lost due to inclement weather conditions.
One of the major apprehensions for the tentative date is also the placing of the final of the Indian T20 Premier League. IPL officials have planned the event in such a way that the final could either take place on 28th May or the 4th of June.
These two dates are uncomfortably close to the World Test Championship final and if India finds itself as the finalist of the WTC final, IPL officials will have to find a way to balance the two impending events.
Currently, India is placed in the 4th position of the WTC rankings and there are tests that are yet to be played against Bangladesh and Australia team in the month of February. If the results are favorable, India should be able to leapfrog the others and make a place in the coveted top two spots.
Once this gets over, the IPL begins, and considering India’s chances to make it to the final of the WTC and play the IPL, the selectors will be battling hard to keep India’s core group of players fit.
Lords was the initial choice of the International Cricket Council, however, due to the Corona pandemic restrictions, they had to play the final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Lords officials have spoken about the iconic venue in great detail and how it is befitting of a match of such stature to be played there. Since last year’s encounter between India and New Zealand team was such a hotly contested one, people will be looking forward to the WTC finals in 2023 as well.