THE ULTIMATE TEST CONFIRMED FOR 7-11 JUNE AT THE OVAL
Khel Today Bureau
New Delhi: The ICC World Test Championship Final between the top two Test nations will take place at The Oval from 7 to 11 June with the reserve day on 12 June
Fans can now register their interest to be included in a priority ballot for tickets from Thursday 16th February by going to https://www.icc-cricket.com/tickets
More information on which teams can qualify for the Ultimate Test can be found here
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed that the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship Final will be played between 7 and 11 June 2023, as two years of Test cricket reaches its conclusion in the Ultimate Test at The Oval in England.
The South London venue has hosted over 100 Test matches in its rich history, and in June will welcome the top two Test sides in the ICC World Test Championship standings, which will compete for the ICC World Test Championship Mace following two years of hard-fought competition.
The ICC World Test Championship Final is the pinnacle event in the Test calendar and is a week-long celebration of the longest format of the game. This Ultimate Test is the culmination of two years of intense competition in the ICC World Test Championship, spanning 61 Test matches over 24 series played to date.
While the two competing nations may not yet be known, there are a host of significant fixtures due to play out in the coming weeks to determine the Finalists, and excitement is building ahead of June’s clash.
Australia currently top the standings, with India in hot pursuit in second place, and both teams go head-to-head across a four-Test series from 9 February with a place at The Oval, and the coveted ICC World Test Championship Mace, firmly in their sights.
While six teams in total stand a chance of qualification, among the frontrunners to challenge the top two are Sri Lanka, who sit third in the standings and South Africa in fourth, who take on reigning WTC champions New Zealand and the West Indies respectively over two two-Test series during February and March.
As the drama ebbs and flows in the coming weeks, the ICC World Test Championship Final will undoubtedly present us with another absorbing encounter, where the victors will write themselves into the annals of this historical format of the game.
Fans can now register their interest to be included in a priority ballot for tickets from Thursday 16th February by going to https://www.icc-cricket.com/tickets.
On the potential of securing their place at the showpiece event, Australia skipper 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.”
India’s captain Rohit Sharma looks ahead to what could be a second successive WTC Final encounter, remarking, “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.”
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne also relishes the opportunity to compete in the World Test Championship Final, adding, “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.”
South Africa also have a chance of qualification, and their Test captain Dean Elgar commented, “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 exciting competition and qualify for the Final in June.”
More about the ICC World Test Championship can be found here.
Remaining ICC World Test Championship Fixtures
India v Australia (1st Test) – Nagpur, India, 9-13 February
India v Australia (2nd Test) – Delhi, India, 17-21 February
South Africa v West Indies (1st Test) – Centurion, South Africa, 28 February-4 March
India v Australia (3rd Test) – Dharamsala, India, 1-5 March
South Africa v West Indies (2nd Test) – Johannesburg, South Africa, 8-12 March
New Zealand v Sri Lanka (1st Test) – Christchurch, New Zealand, 9-13 March
India v Australia (4th Test) – Ahmedabad, India, 9-13 March
New Zealand v Sri Lanka (2nd Test) – Wellington, New Zealand, 17-21 March.