NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is revisiting the existing playing conditions for the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final to be played between India and New Zealand in Southampton from June 18.
TOI has learnt that the finalized playing conditions will be out this week.
There is much confusion about what happens if the match ends in a draw. When the WTC was formulated, the ICC had stated in its FAQs that a reserve day would be kept for the final. Interestingly, the clause has been taken off from the ICC website. And it was also stated that if the match ended in a draw, both teams would be declared joint winners.
As per the initial plans, the reserve day would have kicked in if there were any hours lost in the first five days of the match. “The idea was to ensure that the match is played out in the 30 hours in the first five days. And the reserve day would come into play only if a total of 30 hours were not played in the first five days. That would have meant that the result had a lesser chance of being influenced by weather,” an ICC source told TOI.
However, TOI understands there is much ambiguity when it comes to just ‘hours of play’. The ICC would need to factor in the possible slow over rates too. A five-day match is supposed to have a maximum of 450 overs.
“The idea of having joint winners also doesn’t sit very well given it’s the first time a WTC final is being played. So, one has to have maximum options open to get a result out of the match. The ICC committee is working on it and it should be out this week,” the source added.
WTC fate to be discussed at ICC meeting on June 1
There are also doubts over the fate of WTC and TOI has learnt that the matter will be discussed at the ICC board meeting on June 1. While launching the WTC in 2019 ICC had announced it will continue with the championship in the 2021-23 cycle as well.
The first series in the WTC 2021-23 cycle is supposed to be the five Test matches India are scheduled to play in England a month after the WTC final. However, there’s silence on if there will be any changes in points allocation in the series.
However, there are some members who are skeptical about the success of the tournament. Greg Barclay, while assuming his role as ICC chairman in November, had said that the WTC hasn’t achieved what it intended to. There have been multiple complaints on the points allocation system and format of the championship besides playing through the pandemic making matters worse.