Rohit Sharma pushes for WTC final schedule change

Indian captain Rohit Sharma said the WTC final can be played any time of the year and anywhere in the world. 

Following India’s second consecutive defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, captain Rohit Sharma questioned the scheduling of the ICC event. Sharma said the future WTC finals can be played outside England and not just in June. 

In the press conference after India’s defeat at the hands of Australia, Rohit was asked whether playing straight after the IPL will always hamper team’s preparation for the WTC final. Rohit said it doesn’t have to be that way and hoped for a change in schedule in the future.

READ: Tentative ODI World Cup 2023 Schedule

“Why after the IPL final? Why can’t it be March? June is not the only month we should play the final. It can be played any time of the year and anywhere in the world, not just in England, it can be played anywhere in the world,” said Rohit.

India were defeated in the final by 209 runs at the Oval as they lost seven wickets in the first session of the fifth day. Earlier they conceded 469 runs in the first innings in helpful conditions for bowlers. In 2021, they lost the WTC final against New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The final of the next WTC cycle is also scheduled to be played in England at Lord’s.  

India didn’t have enough time to acclimatise to the conditions or switch over from T20 to Test cricket, having flown to England straight after the IPL. Rohit also spoke about perhaps picking team personnel during the WTC cycle based on where the final is scheduled.

“I want to see where the next WTC final is being played as well. That depends where we play, based on that we will decide what sort of players we want to get ready and what kind of cricket we want to play,” he added.

However, with the international schedule already packed to the limit and several T20 leagues crammed in, finding another window for the WTC final could be very difficult. 

“The way the cycle is set up we are always going to be playing it in the northern hemisphere summer,” ICC’s general manager Wasim Khan had said before the final.

The venue for the next WTC cycle is locked but there will be four WTC finals in the next eight years. The venues for the finals in 2027, 2029 and 2031 have not been finalised. 

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