India vs New Zealand World Test Championship final will be played in Southampton, confirms Ganguly
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly confirmed on Monday that the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand will be played in Southampton.
The 2019-21 WTC final initially was scheduled to be held at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground in London. However, due to the COVID-19 situation in the UK, there had been speculations about the possible change of venue before the former Indian captain revealed that the venue was shifted to Southampton's The Ageas Bowl Stadium a long time ago.
"I'm looking forward to attending the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand in Southampton. Yeah, it is in Southampton. It was decided long time ago. Due to COVID and they [in Southampton] have the hotel absolutely close. When England resumed play after COVID, they had a lot of matches in Southampton due to the same reason," Ganguly said on India Today.
On being asked if the WTC is eminent as the 50-over World Cup, Ganguly responded, "Every trophy has its own value. The 50-over World Cup is an amazing spectacle. It (WTC) was a bit complicated this time because of the pandemic. We will see when every team has played an equal number of games.
Massive achievements given what the players have gone through. Right from the IPL in September to early March and they are not finished yet. A good 6 months in bio-bubbles and what they have achieved is fantastic. Looking forward to the WTC final and I hope we get past New Zealand. Congratulate Rahane, Kohli, everyone involved. The way Pant won India the Brisbane game was excellent."
Ganguly, who underwent two procedures of angioplasty in January, also assured that he is now 'fit and fine.' The BCCI president could not attend India's Pink-Ball Test against England last month at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad due to health issues. But he is looking forward to attending a Twenty20 International (T20I) fixture at the same venue and the WTC final in June.
By beating England 3-1 in the Test series, Virat Kohli and Co qualified for the WTC final, which is scheduled to be played from June 18.
"[I am] Fit, absolutely fine, I am back to work for a while now. Fit and fine, that's the best part of it. I will travel and go for the T20Is [after getting vaccinated]. I will go to Ahmedabad for either the 2nd or the 3rd T20I," Ganguly added.
India and England are set to lock horns in a five-match T20I series, starting from March 12. That will be followed by the One-Day International (ODI) series. The three ODIs will be played on March 23, 26, and 28 respectively at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.