WTC | ICC confirms showpiece clash to begin on June 7 at The Oval
The ICC World Test Championship Mace in all its glory|
The International Cricket Council has announced that the marquee final clash for the second edition of the World Test Championship would take place on June 7 at The Oval in England. Six teams are still in contention for the two spots in the summit clash which shall also have a reserve day.
The World Test Championship final, branded in 2021 as 'The Ultimate Test', finally has a date to go along with it after the ICC on Wednesday revealed that the encounter would take place from June 7-11 while June 12 would serve as the reserve day in case of weather interruptions or any other such external factors. The organization had already announced The Oval as the venue for the marquee clash, only a couple of hours away from the last edition's host Ageas Bowl in Southampton. No team has so far secured its place in the summit meet as six sides remain in contention leading into the final phase of the two-year cycle.
The world's top-ranked side Australia currently sit atop the standings with 75.56% points to their name, having lost just one game since the cycle began in the second half of 2021. They are primed to make it to The Oval with only a 4-0 loss at the hands of India in the upcoming Border Gavaskar Trophy having the potential to derail their plans of a maiden WTC title. India, meanwhile, are a far way off with 58.93% points and need at least three victories against their rivals from Down Under to seal the spot. Anything less would see them under threat from Sri Lanka, with the islanders scheduled to play New Zealand away in two Test before the cut-off date. A whitewash by either them or Australia in India would see the Lions qualify while a clean sweep at the hands of the Kiwis would eliminate them straight away.
Lastly, the struggling Saffas remain in contention as well as do their upcoming opponents West Indies while England's resurgence has handed them a shot as well. However, while the Saffas' possibility includes them needing to secure a 2-0 win in the Caribbean islands while hoping the Kangaroos and Kiwis come up trumps against their respective opponents, the probability of the other two sides making it seems distant and a practical impossibility. Either way, the tournament is confirmed to see a new winner in the second edition following the Black Caps' triumph last year in a well-fought final against the Men in Blue.