Rain has played spoilsport in Southampton as incessant showers have resulted in Day 1 of the World Test Championship Final clash between India and New Zealand getting called off. The washout means that the Reserve Day comes into effect, meaning there will be a play on Day 6 of the Test.
On Thursday, those in Southampton feared a complete washout on Day 1, and the fear has now become reality as Day 1 of the World Test Championship clash between India and New Zealand at The Ageas Bowl has been called off due to rain. The play was scheduled to start at 10.30 AM local time, but heavy rains - that started from the previous night and did not stop - forced a delay in play.
The rain eventually stopped at around 12.30 PM local time, and the officials scheduled an inspection for 3.00 PM local time. However, rain once again picking up 30 mins prior to the scheduled inspection time has seen the officials call off play on Day 1.
UPDATE - Unfortunately, play on Day 1 has been called off due to rains. 10.30 AM local time start tomorrow.#WTC21— BCCI (@BCCI) June 18, 2021
The washout on Day 1 means that the Reserve Day, scheduled for June 23, will now come into effect. The ICC regulations had the option for a reserve day in case of rain, and Day 1 getting completely washed out means that the World Test Championship will now effectively become a six-day affair. However, despite the looming threat of rain, there will not be an early start on Day 2. The BCCI have confirmed that, like Day 1, play will resume at 10.30 AM local time.
There is only a 60% chance of precipitation on Saturday, thus there is a good chance that the WTC Final might in fact kick-off on Day 2.