The final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) will be played as scheduled, confirmed the world cricket body, despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the qualifying process.
The pandemic played havoc with the game’s international calendar, prompting the cancellation of a number of test series and complicating the process of allocating WTC points from those matches in the process.
The ICC had launched the WTC last year to lend context to bilateral test series, giving the format its standalone showpiece like the World Cup in other formats.
Originally, nine top-ranked sides were scheduled to play six series over two years with the top two making the final at Lord’s.
Brad Hogg suggests Ashes and India vs Pakistan series in place of World Test Championship
“The planning is still in progress. There is likely to be more clarity in the coming days once all stakeholders are aligned. There will be an announcement on this soon,” a spokesman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) said of the WTC final.
India currently tops the WTC points table, having played four series, followed by Australia who has played one fewer. England has played four, including home series against West Indies and Pakistan in July-August, and is third.
“We are talking about a COVID environment, and when you put COVID into a negotiation like this, it changes everything. If you are taking part in that fixture and you have potentially two neutral teams playing a world final in the UK, I’m pretty sure you’d want to know you are safe and protected when it comes to the healthy environment you are heading into,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said last week, highlighting the logistical challenge of hosting the WTC final.