WTC Final: ‘Not in Southampton again’ — the unpredictable weather conditions and rain playing spoilsport in the ICC World Test Championship Final, former cricketing legends have hit out at ICC over venue selection, especially after 2019 World Cup debacle. Former India batsman Virender Sehwag joined former England captain Kevin Pietersen in criticising ICC’s venue selection. The inaugural edition of the contest between India and New Zealand in Southampton has offered little to none (on washout days) cricketing action owing to the murky weather, forcing many to question ICC’s choice.
Former Indian player Virender Sehwag slammed ICC’s choice of the venue via his Twitter handle. But he is not alone. Even former England captain Kevin Pietersen criticised ICC’s move.
Batsman ko bhi Timing nahi mili dhang ki, aur ICC ko bhi#WTCFinal
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 21, 2021
The tweet also took a sly dig at the Indian batsmen who struggled to put a promising show with the bat in the first innings. Except for the opening partnership and Virat Kohli-Ajinkya Rahane’s partnership, other players fluked in quick successions, staggering to a low total of 217.
Not long ago, English veteran Kevin Pietersen also said that any one-off or important match shouldn’t take place in the UK.
It pains me to say it, but a ONE OFF & incredibly important cricket game should NOT be played in the UK.
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) June 21, 2021
Instead, former England player opined that Dubai as the ideal venue to host WTC games. He feels that predictable weather conditions, a neutral venue and good infrastructure make Dubai a haven when it comes to the venue.
WTC Final: Southampton as the choice of WTC Final venue has invited a lot of criticisms to the apex governing body of cricket. With the monsoon season prevailing currently in United Kingdom (UK), fans deem ICC’s decision as unwise.
Meanwhile, former players buzzed Twitter with their thoughts regarding the ongoing WTC final between the two sides.
May be reschedule it. If the match is not completed and trophy is shared then all the hard work goes wasted.
— Pragyan Ojha (@pragyanojha) June 22, 2021
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 22, 2021
If a test match is to be decided by overs bowled, then there would never be a need to call it a five-day game. Adding a reserve day for the WTC in itself is an excellent decision. A draw exists as a result in a test match. #WorldTestChampionship #WTCFinal2021
— Mohammed Azharuddin (@azharflicks) June 22, 2021
A day before, former Indian players VVS Laxman, Sanjay Bangar and former Kiwi pacer Shane Bond expressed disgrace over ICC’s decision to keep only one reserve day for the WTC. The trio felt that ICC should have offered full 450 overs (if needed) no matter how long it takes for the World Test Championship.
Weather gods spoiled matches during World Cup 2019
Weather woes are not alien to the UK soil. Rain has played spoilsport in Cricket World Cup 2019 that was hosted by England and Wales.
The incessant and unprecedented weather cards rained out the third game within a week of the 2019 contest. This had set an unwanted record of the highest number of abandoned/no result games in a single edition of the tournament.