The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday confirmed that The Oval in London will play hosts to the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2023, with the 2025 edition of the finale to take place at Lords.
The dates for both the 2023 and 2025 WTC Finals will be confirmed in due course. During the ICC Annual General Meeting in Birmingham in July, England had been identified as the hosts for the next two WTC Finals.
"We are delighted to be hosting next year's ICC World Test Championship Final at The Oval which has such a rich legacy and an amazing atmosphere, which is ideal for such an important fixture on the calendar. Following that we will then take the 2025 Final to Lord's which will provide a fitting backdrop to the ultimate Test."
"Last year's final between New Zealand and India in Southampton was an engrossing encounter and I am sure fans the world over would be looking forward to the next WTC final at The Oval. On behalf of the ICC, I would like to thank the England and Wales Cricket Board, Surrey County Cricket Club and Marylebone Cricket Club for their support," said ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice in an official release.
Currently, Australia and South Africa are occupying the top two places in the WTC 2021-23 cycle league table.
"It's a real honour that The Oval has been selected to host the final of the World Test Championship. To have the two best teams in the world playing here in south London will be a fantastic occasion. Next year promises to be a superb summer of cricket at The Oval and this match will be a brilliant part of it," said Steve Elworthy, CEO of Surrey County Cricket Club.
Lord's was originally scheduled to host the inaugural WTC final in 2021, but it had to be shifted to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton because of Covid-19 restrictions, where New Zealand were crowned champions after defeating India. The iconic venue will now host the showpiece finale in 2025 after The Oval was given 2023 final hosting rights.
"We are delighted that Lord's will be hosting the ICC World Test Championship Final in 2025. It is fantastic news that the ICC has opted to host the next two finals in London, with both grounds providing fitting venues for the culmination of the championship," said Guy Lavender, Chief Executive and Secretary, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).