First-day play of WTC final washed away

Afp, Southampton

19 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

First-day play of WTC final washed away

The inaugural World Test Championship final suffered a setback at the outset after persistent rain meant there was no play at all between India and New Zealand on Friday's opening day at Southampton.

The toss should have taken place at 10:00 am local time (0900 GMT), with the match getting under way 30 minutes later, but heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the pitch and square at the Hampshire Bowl remained fully covered.

Several more downpours hit the ground and it was no surprise when the umpires abandoned play for the day at 2:48 pm (1348 GMT).

While a standard Test lasts a maximum of five days, this fixture can be extended into a sixth day should match referee Chris Broad decide that it is the only way to make-up time lost in the game to bad weather.

But former England batsman Broad won't be called on to make such a decision until the fifth day as the match could be over before then in any event.

This fixture, worth $1.6 million to the winners and $800,000 to the runners-up, represents the culmination of a two-year programme of series to crown a champion team in men's Test cricket, with India and New Zealand topping the qualifying table.