As the much-anticipated ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia draws closer, the preparation of the Oval wicket has become a topic of discussion.
However, recent revelations by Cricbuzz have indicated that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken a precautionary approach by preparing two pitches for the one-off match scheduled to begin on Wednesday (June 7). This decision is not rooted in any controversial or unknown reasons but rather serves as a backup plan to address any unforeseen circumstances.
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The ICC’s choice to have two pitches ready stems from a sense of caution, primarily due to the ongoing oil protest and potential disruptions in London. With concerns about possible intrusions at the South London ground, the governing body aims to be well-prepared for any eventualities that may arise.
In accordance with these measures, the ICC has also introduced alterations to the playing conditions, including the addition of a new clause (6.4) that specifically addresses the unlikely scenario of pitch damage before or during the Test. Both teams have been duly informed about this possibility, although authorities remain tight-lipped about the details due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
A source close to the development stressed the need for extra caution, emphasizing that it is a one-match championship final.
“We are preparing for all eventualities to ensure a conclusive outcome for the final,” a local source familiar with the situation told Cricbuzz.
ICC Bylines For Changing The Pitch During A Match
Clause 6.4: Changing the Pitch
6.4.1: In the event that the on-field umpires determine the match pitch to be unsafe or unsuitable for play, they will halt the game and promptly inform the match referee.
6.4.2: The on-field umpires and match referee will consult with both team captains.
6.4.3: If both captains agree to resume play, the match will recommence.
6.4.4: If the decision is made not to resume play, the on-field umpires, in consultation with the match referee, will assess whether the existing pitch can be repaired and if the match can resume from the point it was stopped. The match referee must consider whether such repairs would unfairly benefit either team, given the play that had already taken place on the potentially dangerous pitch.
6.4.5: If it is determined that the existing pitch cannot be repaired, the match referee will work alongside the ICC to explore the possibility of continuing the match on another pitch at the same venue, provided that the ICC is satisfied that the alternative pitch meets the required Test standard.
6.4.6: If it is not feasible to resume the match on another pitch at the same venue on any scheduled day of the match (including the reserve day), the match will be declared abandoned with no result.
6.4.7: Throughout the decision-making process outlined above, the match referee will keep both team captains and the head of the ground authority informed. The head of the ground authority will ensure that appropriate and timely public announcements are made.
With the ICC taking precautionary measures by preparing two pitches and implementing new playing conditions, the focus remains on ensuring a fair and conclusive final match of the World Test Championship. The governing body is committed to addressing any potential challenges that may arise during the course of the game, thereby upholding the integrity and spirit of the competition.