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Sunday, July 25, 2021

WTC final: Former players slam ICC for choice of venue, Sehwag takes a sly dig

Only 141.1 overs have been bowled in the match so far as the inclement Southampton weather continued to play spoilsport.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 22, 2021 11:07:30 am
wtc finalAn announcement is displayed on a large screen that the play for the day has been abandoned on the fourth day of the World Test Championship final. (AP Photo)

Rain washed out an entire day’s play for the second time in the World Test Championship (WTC) final on Monday, diminishing hopes of a result in the India v New Zealand contest.

Only 141.1 overs have been bowled in the match so far as the inclement Southampton weather continued to play spoilsport in the inaugural edition of Test cricket’s pinnacle event.

New Zealand, who will resume on 101/2, would be particularly disappointed having taken the upper hand after their all-seam attack bowled out India for a below-par 217.

Who said what?

While the weather forecast is significantly better for the next two days, former cricketers have blamed the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the choice of venue.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen tweeted: “It pains me to say it, but a ONE-OFF & incredibly important cricket game should NOT be played in the UK.”

“It’s very sad for the fans. I think ICC did not get the rules right. All said and done, you want a champion,” former Indian batsman VVS Laxman said on Star Sports.

“With so much time available, I’m sure they could have at least allowed 90 overs in 5 days to complete 450 overs. That’s something I would have expected from ICC. We were excited that there is a reserve day but I’m not sure whether the game can finish (even with the reserve day) if the rain continues,” he added.

Former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond echoed Laxman’s sentiments and said, “Both teams wanna play to win. The other thing is that the pitch is offering so much to the bowlers that even if you have three-four days of play, we could find a result. If the weather delays go on for long, sometimes it means only one team can win if New Zealand bat well after the rain finishes, it puts them in the best position but I’m with VVS, however long it takes, I’d like to see 450 overs and one team come out on top.”

Batsman ko bhi Timing nahi mili dhang ki, aur ICC ko bhi,” former India opener Virender Sehwag tweeted in a sly dig at cricket’s apex body.

The one-off match marks the culmination of a two-year cycle of the WTC, which was launched in 2019 to give some context to the bilateral Test series.

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