The marquee final of the inaugural World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand is facing a threat of postponement. With India being placed on the red-list countries by the UK government amid coronavirus pandemic, the World Test Championship final scheduled for June 18 to 22 in Southampton will have to overcome a major hurdle to be played on time.
An exemption has been provided for those Elite sportspeople and support staff that travel to the UK from an otherwise banned red-list country. That, however, still requires those arriving to go through a 10-day stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel without any dispensation to leave their rooms for training.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are now required to tackle the issue of India being confirmed as an entrant in the UK’s red-list countries due to the latest wave of the pandemic. Besides the World Test Championship final June, India will also be playing five Test matches against England in August-September.
If there is no exemption provided for training during the quarantine period, India might well push for the postponement of the World Test Championship final with the ICC. The issue had previously led to the rejigging of India’s original schedule for their all-format tour of Australia late last year.
Will The World Test Championship Final Be Postponed?
And so, will the World Test Championship final be postponed? The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday (April 20) issued a statement on the matter, informing that they’ve begun discussions with the UK government related to the countries placed on the red-list and how it affects their cricketing calendar. The ICC is confident that the World Test Championship final will go ahead as planned in June.
“We are currently discussing with the UK Government the impact of countries being on the ‘red list’,” read the ICC statement. “The ECB and other Members have demonstrated how we can stage international cricket safely in the middle of a pandemic and we are confident that we can continue to do that and that the World Test Championship Final will go ahead as planned in June in the UK.”
The ECB and other Members have demonstrated how we can stage international cricket safely in the middle of a pandemic and we are confident that we can continue to do that and that the World Test Championship Final will go ahead as planned in June in the UK.”
— ICC Media (@ICCMediaComms) April 19, 2021
An exemption on the quarantine front from the UK government will also prove beneficial for England and New Zealand players currently engaged in Indian Premier League (IPL) duties. The two countries are set to take part in a two-match Test series starting June 2, just a few days post the end of IPL 2021.
Apart from New Zealand and India, England men’s team will be hosting Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well this summer. The women teams from India and New Zealand are also scheduled to play England in the UK this summer.