New Delhi [India], May 5 (ANI): With the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League being postponed due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India, all eyes will now move to the World Test Championship final that is to be played out between India and New Zealand in Southampton in June.
While India have a strong unit on paper, the Kiwis are no pushovers. But Kiwi all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme believes that with the kind of arsenal Virat Kohli has at his disposal, picking the right XI will be a headache.
ICC took to Twitter to put out his quote which read: "With the amount of players they've got they can cover all bases because they've got real good seam bowlers these days and gun spinner, so I think the toughest thing for them is going to be picking the XI."
The final gets underway on June 18 and will continue till June 22 with June 23 kept as a reserve day. While it was initially set to be played at the Lord's, the ICC decided to move it to Southampton with an eye on the COVID-19 situation across the globe.
In a release, the ICC had said that in selecting The Hampshire Bowl, the ICC drew on ECB's experience of delivering a full summer of bio-safe international cricket in 2020. The venue provides world-class playing and training facilities, giving both teams the best possible environment in which to prepare. Whilst the on-site accommodation will significantly reduce the risk around COVID-19 transmission and better protect the health and safety of everyone involved in delivering the final.
Should the UK government's phased easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures proceed as planned, it is anticipated that a limited number of fans will be allowed into the Hampshire Bowl to watch the final.
Commenting on the shift to Southampton, Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager, Cricket had said: "We are confident that in selecting the Hampshire Bowl, we have given ourselves the best possible chance to successfully deliver the final whilst keeping everyone involved safe and healthy and giving fans the opportunity to watch the two best Test teams in the world go head-to-head for the right to call themselves the ICC World Test Champions.
"I would like to thank the ECB for their guidance and advice to enable us to make this decision, which gives us the best possible opportunity to deliver a safe and successful World Test Championship Final." (ANI)