NEW DELHI, June 14: Deciding the World Test Championship (WTC) in a best-of-three final is not a realistic idea in a crowded calendar, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Monday.
India and New Zealand will contest a one-off match in Southampton on Friday for test cricket’s biggest honour, along with the Test Championship Mace and a winners’ cheque of $1.6 million.
India coach Ravi Shastri has said a best-of-three final would be an ideal way to determine the winner at the end of the WTC’s two-year cycle.
ICC acting CEO Geoff Allardice said that would be possible only “in a perfect world”.
“The reality of the international cricket schedule is that we’re not going to have that month or so, blocking out a month or so for all the teams in the tournament for a final…,” Allardice told a virtual news conference. “That’s why (a) one-match final was decided upon.”
The WTC was launched in 2019 to create a pinnacle event for five-day international cricket, following the successes of the T20 and 50-over world cups..
Australia and England were in the race before India and New Zealand pulled ahead to grab the top two spots in the WTC final.
“We were really pleased with the way it played out,” Allardice said of the qualification process.
“It was obvious that the interest in certain series wasn’t just restricted to the two teams involved, ” he said. “It was coming from all over the cricketing world and I think to bring that sort of context to test cricket is a real step forward.”
The ICC has approved concussion substitutes as well as COVID-19 replacement, which was introduced last year, for this year’s final.
WTC Final: Winner to take home purse of $1.6 million along with Test Championship mace
The winner of the upcoming World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand will walk away with a prize money of $1.6 million along with the Test Championship Mace, the International Cricket Council said on Monday.
India and New Zealand will battle it out for the prestigious title at Southampton on June 18.
“The winners of the much-awaited ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and New Zealand will take home a purse of $1.6 million along with the ICC Test Championship Mace,” an ICC statement read.
“The losing team will get $800,000 for finishing second in the nine-team competition, which was played over a near two-year cycle, adding context to Test cricket and to crown the first official world champions in the longest format of the game.”
The governing body said that the team finishing third among the nine competition nations will get a $450,000 cheque, while the prize money for the fourth-placed team will be $350,000.
“… the one that finishes fifth gets $200,000 while the remaining four teams will get $100,000 each,” it said.
The inaugural World Test Championships saw nine teams competing over a near two-year cycle to add context to Test cricket.
The team claiming the inaugural world champions title in the longest format of the game will get the Test Mace, which was previously given to teams topping the ICC Men’s Test Team Rankings.
“In case the final ends in a draw or a tie, the finalists will split the prize money for the first and second places and share possession of the Mace during the time they remain champions,” the ICC said. (Reuters/PTI)