India and New Zealand will be crowned joint winners of the inaugural World Test Championship in case the final ends in a draw or a tie, the ICC confirmed on Friday. And while there is a reserve day, it will come into play only if time lost during the five regular days – June 18 to 22 – is not made up on those days. The ICC has also announced that the match will be played using Grade 1 Dukes balls.
While the original draft of the playing conditions for the inaugural cycle of the WTC (2019-21) had been laid out in 2018 itself, as reported by ESPNcricinfo on May 17 that year, the ICC has now updated it for the final.
On Friday, the ICC reiterated that the reserve day will only be a contingency measure and would not be used to get to a result in case the “five full days of play” are not enough to separate the two teams.
“The reserve day has been scheduled to ensure five full days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the normal provisions of making up lost time each day. There will be no additional day’s play if a positive result is not achieved after five full days of play and the match will be declared a draw in such a scenario.
“In the event of time being lost during the match, the ICC match referee will regularly update the teams and media about the way in which the reserve day may be used. The final decision on whether the reserve day needs to be used will be announced at the scheduled start of the last hour on the fifth day.”
New changes to be implemented
The final will be played with the recent changes to international playing conditions implemented – they are in effect in the ongoing Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka series too.
The third umpire will automatically review all calls of short runs by on-field umpires and communicate the decision to the field umpire before the next ball is bowled.
Before reviewing an lbw decision, the fielding captain or the dismissed batter can check with the on-field umpires whether they thought a genuine attempt was made to play the ball.
For lbw reviews, the height margin of the wicket zone has been lifted to the top of the stumps to ensure the same umpire’s call margin around the stumps for both height and width.