The covered pitch
The covered pitch
afp

Southampton: The fickle English weather played spoilsport in a game promising high quality contest as day four of the inaugural World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand was washed out due to rain.

For the second time in the one-off clash, a whole day was lost after no play was possible also on the opening day.

With the weather not improving since morning at the Hampshire Bowl, the umpires took the call almost four hours and 30 minutes after the scheduled start time of 10.30 am local time (3 pm IST).

"Day four of the #WTC21 Final has been abandoned due to persistent rain," read an ICC update.

The fans who were patiently waiting for the play to start had to leave disappointed.

"We thank our fans who turned up and kept the tempo high. See you again, tomorrow," the BCCI added.

Rain is not forecast for the remaining two days of the big final but it is likely to remain overcast as it has been the case so far when play did take place. When it wasn't the rain, bad light stopped play on both day two and day three.

A maximum of 196 overs can be played in the game to force a result. The trophy will be shared if the game is drawn.

The final was nicely poised at stumps on day three with New Zealand reaching 101 for two in response to India's 217 all out. The Black Caps however remain in control of the game despite a late strike from Ishant Sharma close to stumps.

Important one-off games like WTC final should not be played in UK: Pietersen

Southampton: Former England captain Kevin Pietersen feels that no one-off cricket games of incredible importance should ever be held in the UK, which is famous for its fickle weather as one is witnessing during the World Test Championship final. The match between India and New Zealand is staring at a stalemate with barely 140 plus overs of play out of a possible 270 held during the first three days. "It pains me to say it, but a ONE OFF & incredibly important cricket game should NOT be played in the UK," Pietersen tweeted taking a dig at the ICC for opting Hampshire Bowl in Southampton as the venue for a marquee final. For Pietersen, the final of an event like this should always be held in Dubai, where there is minimal chance of weather related interruptions. "If it was up to me, Dubai would always host a one off match like this WTC game. Neutral venue, fabulous stadium, guaranteed weather, excellent training facilities and a travel hub! Oh, and ICC home is next to the stadium," the flamboyant former England batsman wrote. Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag was even more sarcastic in his criticism of ICC. "Batsman ko bhi Timing nahi mili dhang ki, aur ICC ko bhi," he tweeted. It meant that "neither the Indian batsmen nor the ICC got their timing right".

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