Cricket as a sport has kept evolving with the times. From the ODI World Cup to the Champions Trophy, many marquee outdoor events by the International Cricket Council (ICC) have been developed to keep the fans satiated. Now, with the rise of the IPL and the Big Bash League, shorter formats of the game have been in great demand.
However, when national pride is at stake, no format comes close to the prestige that is often attributed to Test Cricket. As the longest version of the game, it is considered as the gold standard for this sport. Hence, the World Test Championship is the ultimate prize a cricketer aims to achieve, apart from the ODI and T20 World Cups.
Organized by the ICC, the Final will be held on 18th June in 2021 and is one of the few major outdoor events scheduled to go on as planned despite the pandemic. The tournament is restricted to test member nations and is played over the course of two years. This inaugural edition began in 2019 and out of the 12 test members, only nine members participated in this championship. Each team played a test series with six other teams and the two teams with the highest points at the end of league stage qualified for the final.
The tournament has featured many landmark test series in the history of the sport. One such recent example is the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar series contested between India and Australia. Here a valiant young Indian team riddled with injuries beat Australia 2-1 and kept itself in contention for the Test Championship Finals.
Another example is the 2019 Ashes where England leveled the series with Australia, resulting in the first-ever drawn Ashes Series since 1972. This series also featured Ben Stoke’s heroic 135 runs in the third test which is also considered as one of the best test innings of all time.
As a result of the safety restrictions imposed due to the pandemic, only a limited number of fans may have a chance to witness history in the making when India takes on New Zealand in the final at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. The rest of us can still cheer for our favorite team while watching this outdoor event from the safety of our homes.
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