ICC WTC Finals Playing Conditions: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is yet to finalise the playing conditions for Virat Kohli’s India vs Kane Williamson-led New Zealand inaugural ICC World Test Championship Final to be played from June 18 in Southampton. But as per reports, ICC is reconsidering the idea of a reserve day or sixth day in case any hours of play is lost in the first five days of the match. Hence, instead of June 18-22, the match will be played till June 23.
According to a report by Times of India, the ICC had the reserve day option initially but it was taken off the table later on. The world body instead said on its website that in case of a draw, both New Zealand and India will be joint winners. However, the option of reserve day is back on the table with unpredictable English conditions certainly playing a major role. The ICC is set to announce the playing conditions by this week after its board meeting on June 1.
ICC WTC Finals Playing Conditions: “The idea was to ensure that the match is played out in the 30 hours in the first five days. And the reserve day would come into play only if a total of 30 hours were not played over the first five days. That would have meant that the result had a lesser chance of being influenced by weather,” an ICC source told the Times of India.
However, in the 30-hours of play, ICC would also need to consider slow over rates and a total of 450 overs as well. A Test match is played with 450 overs over five days — 90 overs each day. The reserve day cannot have overs in addition to the 450 overs while factoring in the slow over-rate will also be difficult. But ICC doesn’t want a drawn WTC final with Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson sharing the trophy as it will not be good for optics.
ICC WTC Finals Playing Conditions: “It’s unlikely that there will be wholesome changes at this hour. The idea of having joint winners also doesn’t sit very well given it’s the first time a WTC final is being played. One has to have maximum options open to get a result out of the match. The ICC is working on it. Should be out this week,” the source added.