Southampton to host WTC final, Women’s team to play one off test

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There were some important announcements today relating to World Test Championships final and the confirmation of Indian women’s team to play an one off test this year. 

BCCI has announced that that India’s women cricket team will play a one off test this year vs England in 2nd half of the year.  This will be the first time since 2014 that women’s cricket team will participate in a test match .  Admittedly , BCCI has been slow moving with respect to marketing  women’s cricket.  The women’s IPL , is yet to take shape and the fact that the team will play its first test since 2014 are very indicative of the slow moving nature of the women’s game in our country compared to Australia , England or South Africa.   Incidently , the women’s team is currently playing South Africa in an ODI series at home  , their first international assignment since release of lockdown.

As for the World test Championships final , Southampton with the hotel alongside the stadium , has been chosen as the WTC venue replacing  Lords in view of the 2nd wave  covid situation in London.   India last time played at Southampton in 2018 and lost the test by 60 runs . In that game Pujara scored 135 and Moeen Ali took 9 wickets. The Ages bowl is a big ground and the pitch there may spin later in the game.  Thus it is a ground that can give India the slight  edge . 

The BCCI supremo Sourav Ganguly indicated that there may not be crowds during full tenure of  IPL on view of the current covid situation in India which has shown an increasing trend in few states .  When pointed out that recent India v England test series had 50% crowd allowance, Ganguly stated that bilateral series are easier to host rather than a 8 team IPL were public proximity can create health concern form players who may practice at  nets adjoining to the ground .  However he added that BCCI will keep an eye on the covid situation before allowing crowds inside stadium which is not ruled out yet. 

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