Hampshire Bowl in Southampton will be hosting the inaugural final of the ICC World Test Championship. The ICC revealed the news on Wednesday and told that the venue has shown capability of delivering international matches as the world’s first bio-secure cricket venue.
India and New Zealand will be playing the inaugural final of the ICC World Test Championship from June 18. The International Cricket Council decided chose Hampshire Bowl in Southampton as the venue for the same. The decision was taken following discussion between the ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). A number of of options were considered to ensure that the Test can be organized safely given the potential impact of COVID-19 in consideration. The intention was to minimise the chance of infection for all involved. The Hampshire Bowl and Old Trafford played hosts to all the international matches in England last year.
Tom Harrison, the ECB CEO, said "As the world's first fully bio-secure cricket venue, it has shown itself capable of delivering international matches to the highest of standards, even against the backdrop of a global pandemic. I am sure the finale of the ICC World Test Championship will be a wonderful occasion."
The ICC also hoped that fans with limited capacity can be allowed in the stadium if the UK government eases down the COVID-19 lockdown measures in due time. Geoff Aldrice, ICC's General Manager, Cricket, 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.” He added, "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."