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This article was first published 1 year ago  » Cricket » WTC Final promises thrills, sell-out crowds

WTC Final promises thrills, sell-out crowds

Source: PTI
May 29, 2023 16:46 IST
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ICC expecting full crowds for at least first four days of WTC final at Oval

Cricket fans

IMAGE: Indian fans in the crowds at the WTC final. Photograph: ICC/Twitter

The International Cricket Council is expecting a sell-out crowd for at least the first four days of the World Test Championship final between India and Australia at The Oval in London from June 7.

The ICC has also kept a reserve day for the title clash if weather plays spoilsport.

"We have been working very closely with the local organising committee (ECB) to ensure it is a great spectacle for the fans. We are expecting full crowds for each of at least the first four days. We know we are heading in the right direction.


"It has created huge interest in terms of fans, and two best teams in the world will be slugging it out, it is set to be a fantastic event.

"We hope the weather stays clear so we can get the full amount of cricket, though we have a reserve day to make up for lost time," said Wasim Khan, ICC general manager of cricket, in a select media interaction."

The final of the inaugural edition also involved India, who finished runners up to New Zealand in Southampton two years ago.

Asked why the game is being played in the UK for the second edition in a row, Wasim said the location goes well with the scheduling of the final. The Oval also serves as a neutral venue for both teams.

"The way the WTC cycle is set up, we are playing in the northern hemisphere summer. We look for diverse venues, currently as it stands within England. Lord's was considered but decision was made on The Oval for this edition."

"In terms of the final every two years, the UK very much suits the set up of the tournament because it very much falls in line with the northern hemisphere," he said.

"WTC's future is secured at least till 2031"

Each team plays six series in two year WTC cycle, three home and three away.

Wasim said the existing structure is working well for the five-day format's showpiece event.

"It is something we are constantly looking at. For now, it continues to work as it is. We made small changes in terms of playing conditions, the soft signal is not there moving forward but the actual structure of the two-year cycle is constantly reviewed by the members."

"We take their feedback before progressing to the next year but the great news is WTC has been signed off for the next eight years at least," he said referring to the competition's secure future at least till 2031.

Wasim added that the improvement in quality of cricket has generated more interest in the longest form of the game.
"We have really moved on in this second edition. 69 matches and only 12 draws which tell us there is a huge amount of positive cricket being played and people are trying to get results because the end goal is to get to the final.
"We have seen England transform how Test cricket is being played and that bodes well for the future. I think overall quality of cricket is for all to see and we have got the best two teams now in the final." PTI BS KHS

Illingworth, Gaffaney will be on-field umpires in India-Australia WTC final

England's Richard Illingworth and Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand will be the on-field umpires in the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia in London, the ICC said.

The International Cricket Council has announced the match officials for the marquee clash, which will be played between world cricket's two heavyweights at The Oval from June 7-11.

"Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand and Richard Illingworth of England have been named as the on-field umpires for the Ultimate Test, which has 12 June earmarked as a reserve day to make up for any lost time during the scheduled five days of play," the ICC said in a press release.

Gaffaney, 48, will be standing in his 49th Test match while it will be the 64th Test for 59-year-old Illingworth, who also stood in the first WTC final two years ago that New Zealand won with an eight-wicket victory over India in Southampton.

Another England umpire, Richard Kettleborough, will also be officiating in a second successive WTC final, once again appointed as the TV umpire.

Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka will be the fourth umpire, while Richie Richardson of the West Indies will be the match referee.

While India played in the WTC final once, in its inaugural edition, it will be Australia's maiden appearance in the summit showdown of the Test championship. 

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