Dubai [UAE], February 2 (ANI): New Zealand on Tuesday become the first team to qualify for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final. New Zealand is currently ranked second on the ICC WTC table with a points percentage of 70 per cent which has secured them a place in the final.
The Kiwis will be joined by either India, England, or Australia with the second spot being determined by the outcome of the India v England four-match Test series due to start on Friday.
"The postponement of the Test series between South Africa and Australia means New Zealand has become the first team to qualify for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final to be held in England from June 18 to 22, with June 23 as the reserve day," ICC said in an official statement.
To book their place, India will have to win the series against England by 2-1, 2-0, 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0, margin. For England to qualify and join New Zealand, they will have to win the series against India by 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0 margin.
Australia can still qualify for the much-anticipated ICC WTC final if the series between India and England ends up as a drawn series, or if India wins the series 1-0 or England win it by 1-0, 2-1 or 2-1 margin.
Last month, the final of the inaugural edition of the WTC was postponed. The decider was originally scheduled to be held from June 10 to 14 at the Lord's Cricket Ground. The final will now be played out from June 18 to 22 with June 23 acting as a reserve day.
ANI has reliably learnt that it was done keeping in mind the proximity between the WTC final and the final of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League -- dates yet to be officially announced -- and any quarantine period that players might have to go through with an eye on the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, the ICC had decided to change the point-rating system of WTC due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The WTC table has now been revised to rank teams based on the percentage of points earned from the series played, meaning teams are ranked in order of percentage of points earned. (ANI)