Why WTC Final in Southampton: England has so far held 13 out of 16 finals at Lord’s, the first ever title match at Aegis Bowl


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The final match of the World Test Championship between India and New Zealand is to be played at The Aegis Bowl in Southampton from June 18 to 22. Usually final matches in England are played at Lord’s. England has so far hosted 16 finals of multinational cricket tournaments. Of these, 13 were played at Lord’s. Two finals took place at the Oval. The 1st final took place at Edgbaston (Birmingham). Both the Lord’s and Oval grounds are in London. That is, Southampton will become the third city in England to host the final match of a multinational tournament and the Aegis Bowl the fourth stadium.

In such a situation, the question arises that why is the final of the World Test Championship being held in some other city and not in London or Birmingham? To know the answer to this question, we have to look at the four points due to which the ICC has taken this decision.

1. World’s First Bio Secure Venue
Sports activities around the world have been greatly affected since the start of the Corona epidemic. Matches could take place in the midst of the epidemic only if the stadium was somehow kept out of reach of Corona. Along with this, all players, support staff, match officials, broadcasting crew should also be kept safe from infection. In this way the concept of Bio Secure Venue came to the fore. That is, a venue equipped with all such arrangements where Corona cannot reach and the match can be played in a safe environment. The Aegis Bowl in Southampton becomes the first bio-secure cricket venue in the world. The Test match against West Indies was held here in a bio-secure environment from 8 July 2020. Since then a total of 9 international matches have been played here.

2. On Site Accommodation
The Aegis Bowl is one of the few cricket stadiums in the world that has a five-star standard hotel close by. Here it is convenient to accommodate teams and officials in a safe environment. In such a situation, they do not have to travel much distance from the hotel to the ground.

3. Neutral Conditions
This is the final of the ICC tournament. The ICC’s attempt was to make the venue a stadium where no one team gets a lot of help. In the cities which are in the northern part of England, swing bowling helps a lot in the months of May and June. But, the situation is not like this in the South. The conditions here are helpful for swing as well as spin bowling, especially on the fourth and fifth days of the match.

4. Pressure from BCCI!
This is a point that cannot be officially confirmed. Many cricket analysts are of the view that BCCI did not want the match to be in conditions too conducive to swing bowling. The Indian board took up the issue with the ICC and the England Cricket Board (BCCI) and the venue was then shifted from Lord’s to Southampton.

Team India has won 3 out of 4 finals in England
The Indian team has played four final matches on the soil of England so far. Out of this, he has won three and has to face defeat in one. India played its first final in England in the 1983 World Cup. Then India won the World Cup for the first time by defeating West Indies at Lord’s.

After this, India defeated England in the final of the tri-series at Lord’s in 2002. India won the third final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 against England in Birmingham. India’s only defeat in the final in England came in 2017 against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy. That match was played at The Oval.

In this sense, Lord’s (London) and Edgbaston (Birmingham) proved to be good for Team India. But, they were all ODI matches. Now the final of the Test Championship is to be played. Therefore, ICC’s effort is to conduct matches on such a ground where the condition does not turn in favor of any team in a unilateral manner. Also, the match lasted for five days so that broadcasters also get a full chance to earn.

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