The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that the final of the ICC World Test Championship between India and New Zealand will be staged in a bio-secure bubble at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.
This decision comes after discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) where a range of options was considered to ensure the inaugural final could be staged safely.
Southampton was one of the venues chosen by the ECB when cricket resumed after the COVID-19 break as West Indies and Pakistan arrived on England shores to play Test cricket.
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The venue provides world-class playing and training facilities, giving both teams the best possible environment in which to prepare. It also has a luxurious hotel on its premises, cutting out the need for travel.
The ICC also mentioned that should the UK government’s phased easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures proceed as planned, it is anticipated that a limited number of fans will be allowed into the Hampshire Bowl to watch the final.
https://t.co/aTRWkb6pOFICC World Test Championship final at SouthamptonDetails ????????
— ICC Media (@ICCMediaComms) March 10, 2021
“We are confident that in selecting the Hampshire Bowl, we have given ourselves the best possible chance to successfully deliver the final whilst keeping everyone involved safe and healthy and giving fans the opportunity to watch the two best Test teams in the world go head-to-head for the right to call themselves the ICC World Test Champions,” Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager, Cricket said.
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“We are delighted that the ICC has chosen to host the inaugural World Test Championship Final at The Hampshire Bowl. As the world’s first fully bio-secure cricket venue, it has shown itself capable of delivering international matches to the highest of standards, even against the backdrop of a global pandemic. I am sure the finale of the ICC World Test Championship will be a wonderful occasion,” Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, England, and Wales Cricket Board said.
India and New Zealand will clash from June 18-22 with 23rd being a reserve day for the title of World Test Champions.