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News

Lord's to host next two WTC finals

It is the favoured venue since the 2023 and 2025 finals are set to be played in June, which falls in the English season

Nagraj Gollapudi
26-Jul-2022
Job done, New Zealand soak in the victory, India vs New Zealand, World Test Championship (WTC) final, Southampton, Day 6 - reserve day, June 23, 2021

The 2021 WTC final was shifted from Lord's to Southampton due to the UK government's Covid-19 restrictions  •  ICC/Getty Images

The ICC has finalised Lord's as the venue for the next two World Test Championship finals in 2023 and 2025. The decision was approved at the ICC's AGM, which concluded on Tuesday in Birmingham. The inaugural WTC final was held in Southampton in 2021 when New Zealand got the better of India in four days. That match was originally scheduled for Lord's, too, but had to be moved to the Ageas Bowl because of Covid-19 restrictions in place at that time.
ICC chair Greg Barclay had indicated in a chat with BBC's Test Match Special earlier this season that Lord's was the preferred option mainly because the WTC final is scheduled in June - both in 2023 and 2025. "It's June so that rules out a number of other venues and we've got to get certainty around where it's hosted," Barclay had said. "We're out of Covid now so subject to arrangements being made and being able to be hosted out of Lord's I think that's the intention."
Nine Full Members (all other than Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan) are part of the WTC which runs over a two-year cycle with each country playing six series - three home and three away. Several teams are still in the race for a place in the 2023 final in this cycle of the WTC.
Meanwhile, former India batter VVS Laxman and former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori have been added to the ICC Men's Cricket Committee which is headed by Ganguly. Both Laxman and Vettori were added as current player representatives while former West Indies allrounder Roger Harper was appointed to the committee as past player representative.
ICC chairman election process tweaked
The ICC Board also approved a change in the process to elect the next chair of the board. That election is due to take place in November 2022 and will now be decided by a simple majority, instead of a two-thirds majority - a system which led to a protracted and fractions process last time. That election brought Barclay to the chair and he is expected to fight for another term. The next chairperson's tenure will run from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2024.
ICC continues to monitor Afghanistan cricket
The ICC's working group as well as representatives from the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) updated the ICC Board on the situation in the country and specifically on women's cricket. ICC representatives are hoping to meet with ACB and government officials in the coming weeks an ICC release said to take the matter further.
New members
Cambodia, Cote D'Ivoire and Uzbekistan received Associate membership status at the AGM, though Ukraine's application has been deferred until cricket can safely resume in the country. The Ukraine Cricket Federation has been asked to show that it satisfies a couple of clauses of the Membership criteria, including that they have an administrative structure in place that is fit for purpose, and a pathway for women's cricket. Cricket activities have come to a halt in the country because of the continuing Russian invasion.
With the addition of Cambodia, Cote D'Ivoire and Uzbekistan the ICC now has 108 Members in total, including 96 Associates.
Meanwhile, Cricket Russia has had its membership terminated. The board had been suspended at last year's AGM for continued non-compliance since July 2019 on several criteria revolving around the board's governance.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo