The wrenching memories of India’s quest to win the ICC World Test Championship going in vain might still be fresh in minds of many. In the final, New Zealand defeated India to become the first-ever Test world champions and it was a story in itself. The Test was played at Southampton and not Lord’s where it was earlier decided.
For the second stint of the prestigious tournament, it is suggested that Lord’s be the place to host the finals. ICC chairperson Greg Barclay was heard saying, “I think it is scheduled for Lord’s, that was always the intention, It’s June so that rules out a number of other venues and we’ve got to get certainty around where it’s hosted. We’re out of Covid now so subject to arrangements being made and being able to be hosted out of Lord’s I think that’s the intention.”
The tournament was supported to bring excitement to Test cricket whose popularity seems to be affected by the rise of shorter formats. With lavish tournaments being organized around the world and with the kind of money involved, it looked obvious for players to be attracted towards the same. On being asked about the popularity of Test cricket in the coming decade, Barclay said, “Men’s Test cricket is something that represents the history and legacy of the game, it is what makes the game unique…The Test Championship has driven some relevancy into it so in 10-15 years’ time I still see Test cricket being an integral part. It may be that there is less Test cricket. Some countries may have to make room and play less Test cricket – some of them might have totally different long and short-form squads but also some of the smaller Full Members will have to accept from a resourcing point of view that they can’t pay the amount of Test cricket that they wanted to. So we may see a lessening of that, maybe they play four or five Tests a year whereas England, Australia, and India I think will be playing Test cricket as they are now.”
Last summer, Lord’s had been chosen as the site for the first ICC World Test Championship finals, but due to Covid-19, the game was moved to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. At the time, the UK was still working its way out of pandemic-related regulations. Because of its on-site hotel, Southampton, which had played international cricket in the summer of 2020 at the time of the pandemic, was viewed as the best venue logistically to put players in a bio-secure bubble. We are hopeful that this time around the final gets to be played at Lord’s, the home of cricket.