The likes of VVS Laxman, Shane Bond, Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar have slammed the International Cricket Council for the choice of venue for the inaugural World Test Championship final between India and Zealand. Only 141.1 overs have been bowled in the Test so far as the inclement Southampton weather continued to play spoilsport on day four. Just like the first day, the fourth day too was completely washed out.
Now, even with a reserve day, a draw is the most likely result. In case of a draw, the trophy will be shared. Joint winners in a Test Championship final mars the charm of a final in this format, especially when it is induced by the weather. Former India captain Gavaskar wants ICC to think of a formula to determine a winner if the final ends in a draw.
"To complete three innings in two days would be really difficult. Yes, if both teams bat really badly, the three innings could be completed. There must be a formula to pick a winner in case of a drawn World Test Championship final. ICC's cricket committee should think and then take a decision. In football, they have a penalty shoot out or they have some other method to decide a winner. In Tennis, there are five sets and there is a tie-breaker," Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
India were bowled out for 217 in 92.1 overs in their first innings. New Zealand are currently 101/2 in 49 overs and are still trailing by 116 runs. Former England batsman Pietersen clearly said that ‘a one-of and incredibly important cricket game’ shouldn’t be held in the UK due to unpredictable weather.
Meanwhile, Laxman said: "It’s very sad for the fans. I think ICC did not get the rules right. All said and done, you want a champion. With so much time available, I’m sure they could have at least allowed 90 overs in 5 days to complete 450 overs. That’s something I would have expected from ICC. We were excited that there is a reserve day but I’m not sure whether the game can finish (even with the reserve day) if the rain continues," he said on Star Sports.
Former New Zealand fast bowler Bond too echoed Laxman’s sentiments. "Both teams wanna play to win. The other thing is that the pitch is offering so much to the bowlers that even if you have three-four days of play, we could find a result. If the weather delays go on for long, sometimes it means only one team can win if New Zealand bat well after the rain finishes, it puts them in the best position but I’m with VVS, however long it takes, I’d like to see 450 overs and one team come out on top."