World Test Championship WTC23
The wait is over and here are the official dates for the final of the 2021-23 cycle of the ICC World Test Championship, which will be played at The Oval later on in the year, have been confirmed.
The concluding match of the ICC World Test Championship’s second iteration will take place at The Oval in London from June 7 to June 11, with a reserve day built into the schedule (12 June). After defeating India in the 2021 final in Southampton by a score of eight wickets, New Zealand claimed victory in the first iteration of the competition.
With an impressive points percentage of 75.56, Australia is currently in first place on the nine-team points table for the current cycle. India is in second place with a points percentage of 58.93. The four-match Test series between the two teams is scheduled to get underway on February 9 in Nagpur. The outcome of the series will play a big role in deciding which teams will compete in the finals, thus it is important that both teams perform well.
Australia captain Pat Cummins said “The prospect of playing in the World Test Championship Final has been a big motivator for us over the last couple of years, more so now having missed out on over rates last time,”
“To play at a neutral venue like The Oval adds another element for both sides who make the Final. It’s exciting and has been a goal of ours for a while now. We are confident we can secure a place while here in India after a really strong 12 months. The Final would be a great reward for the players and staff who have done so well.”
Rohit Sharma, the current captain of the Indian cricket team and a key member of the squad that finished second in the initial cycle of the tournament under the leadership of Virat Kohli, stated: “Leading Team India out onto the field of play at the World Test Championship Final would be special. We have grown and developed as a team during this competition and to be in with a chance of lifting the Mace at the Oval in June, we know we first need to overcome a tough Australia side.”
“There have been so many dramatic moments in Test cricket lately, and there are undoubtedly more to come. I am excited by the prospect of booking our place at the Final and hopefully creating history later in the year.”
Both Sri Lanka (53.33%) and South Africa (48.72%), who are now ranked third and fourth, respectively, have a shot of winning. The current cycle will conclude with Sri Lanka playing two more away Tests against New Zealand, while South Africa’s final assignment will be a home series against the West Indies consisting of two matches.
Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne stated “Sri Lanka still has a good chance of making it to the World Test Championship Final. We have done well to be among the top contenders, and if we can complete a good Test series on the upcoming New Zealand tour, our chances of making it to the Final will look like a greater possibility,”
“We are aware of the opportunity, as well as the challenges we will face in capturing this wonderful opportunity to play in the WTC Final. This competition is really good for red-ball cricket, as it ensures that every game is played at the highest level of intensity, and the teams, whether they qualify to play the Final or not, will compete to end the ongoing cycle well.”
At the other hand Dean Elgar skipper of South African cricket team said “While we may have an outside chance of qualification for the World Test Championship Final, there’s no greater encouragement than the thought of playing for silverware in such a historic format at such a historic ground.
“We are hungry for success in this format and are focused on the challenge ahead with the West Indies Test series around the corner. With so much to play for, we would love to add some more drama to an already existing competition and qualify for the Final in June.”
ICC World Test Championship Upcoming Dates
India versus Australia
India vs. Australia (First Test) — Nagpur, India, February 9-13
India vs. Australia, 2nd Test, 17-21 February, Delhi, India
India v Australia (3rd Test) — Dharamsala, India, 1-5 March
India vs. Australia, 4th Test, 9-13 March, Ahmedabad, India
South Africa versus West Indies
South Africa versus West Indies, 1st Test, Centurion, South Africa, 28 February – 4 March
South Africa vs. West Indies, 2nd Test, 8-12 March, Johannesburg, South Africa
New Zealand v Sri Lanka series
New Zealand against. Sri Lanka, 1st Test, 9-13 March, Christchurch, New Zealand
New Zealand versus Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Wellington, New Zealand, March 17-21