ICC Announces New Playing Conditions for World Test C’ship Final

India and New Zealand will lock horns in the grand finale, commencing from 18 June at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

3 min read
Skippers Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson having a chat. 

The inaugural edition of the World Test Championship is approaching its business end. India and New Zealand are the protagonists of the grand finale, scheduled to be played from 18-22 June at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Virat’s Kohli’s men have been on a hot streak, pummeling Australia in their own backyard before nudging England aside to book a berth in the title clash. While the nice guys of cricket, New Zealand endured a few bumps on the road in the beginning as they were handed a clean sweep by Australia. It seemed like their campaign would derail prior to taking flight but the Kiwis registered series wins against India, West Indies and Pakistan to barge into the final act.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the revised playing conditions for the blockbuster tie next month. The host of amendments, that came into effect with the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, are as follows:

Trophy to Be Shared in Case of Draw

The playing conditions confirm that if the match culminates in a draw both the teams will be crowned as joint winners of the World Test Championship.

Power Rests Within Umpires to Use Reserve Day

The ICC has allocated a Reserve Day to make up for any lost time during the stipulated course of the final, with 23 June finalized as the Reserve Day. The provision has been put in place to ensure five full days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the standard procedure of compensating for lost time each day.

In the event of time being lost during the match, the ICC Match Referee will regularly update the teams and media about the way in which the Reserve Day may be used. The final decision on whether the Reserve Day needs to be used will be announced at the scheduled start of the last hour on the fifth day.

Dukes Ball to the Fore

The WTC final is set to be contested with the Dukes cherry. What separates the Dukes from the SG and Kookaburra variants is that its seam is purely hand-stitched. The Dukes generates lateral movement in abundance courtesy its pronounced seam. The lush green outfields of England help preserve the shape and pristinity of the ball, while the overcast conditions spell doom for the batsmen as the Dukes hoops around corners.

The wear and tear that the SG ball is subjected to on the rank turners of India lead to torn seams, thereby making it a pain to grip and apply revs on it. That’s precisely the reason why spinners are able to extract a lot more drift and topspin in foreign conditions as compared to the subcontinent.

The seam of the Kookaburra, a machine-stitched ball, is embedded into the leather and hence, doesn’t swing as much at the outset. Although, it does reverse a fair bit as the game wears on.


Short Runs to be Called by the Umpire Upstairs

The Third Umpire will automatically review any call of a ‘short run’ by the On-field Umpire and communicate the decision to the On-field Umpire prior to the next ball being bowled.

Players Entitled to Seek Clarity on ‘Padding’

The fielding captain or the dismissed batsman may confirm with the Umpire whether a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball prior to deciding whether to initiate a player review for LBW.

Stump Height Margin Tinkered for DRS Symmetry

For LBW reviews, the height margin of the Wicket Zone has been lifted to the top of the stumps to ensure the same Umpire’s Call margin around the stumps for both height and width.

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