Former India captain and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly on Monday confirmed that the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, which was scheduled to be played at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground, has been moved to Southampton's Ageas Bowl.
"I'm looking forward to attending the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand in Southampton," Ganguly told India Today. "Yeah, it is in Southampton. It was decided 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," he added.
The ICC World Test Championship final will be played from June 18 to 22 with June 23 kept as the reserve day. Speaking to news agency ANI, BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla also confirmed the development. "Yes, the final will be played in Southampton keeping an eye on the COVID situation," he said.
For the uninitiated, India qualified for the WTC finals after defeating England in the fourth Test match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. India beat England by an innings and 25 runs on the third day of the fourth Test to complete a 3-1 series victory, and will now play against Kane Williamson's New Zealand in the finals.
Virat Kohli's men finished as the number one team with 72.2 percentage points in the WTC points table, the factor that determined the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the COVID-19 disruption.
The Black Caps were the first team to ensure a place in the final with 70 percentage points. Australia finished third with 69.2 percentage points while England ended with 61.4 percentage points at the fourth position.