The World Test Championship (WTC) final is one of the most anticipated cricket matches in recent times. The summit clash will see India and New Zealand lock horns for the biggest prize in Test cricket yet. The inaugural edition of the tournament saw all teams take part in a two-year long process where bilateral series were played as usual, but with points allotted to the WTC table for every win.
In the end, it was India who topped the table and the Black Caps who came second. There was close competition from Australia and England, but losses against India for both the sides meant that they couldn’t sneak through to the final. Now, all the focus is on the final which will be played on the 18th of June at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton which is a neutral venue. The Lord’s Cricket Ground was initially set to host the match, but logistical issues meant that it had to be changed to Southampton.
India to play first Test at a neutral venue with WTC final
In what is a truly incredible stat, India has never played a single Test at a neutral venue, meaning they have either played in India or in the country of their opposition. They have never played anywhere else in any of the matches they have played. This is especially remarkable because India have played Test cricket for 89 years, but are the only Test-playing nation apart from Bangladesh with this record (or stat rather) to their name.
The first ever Test at a neutral venue was played between Australia and South Africa in 1912 in Manchester. The two teams were involved in a tri-series with England and hence, their first clash was the first Test match conducted at a neutral venue. While India and Bangladesh have played the fewest matches at a neutral venue (0), Pakistan have played the most (39). Australia are second with 12 matches at a neutral venue.