The Indian team is all set to face New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship Final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. On Tuesday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the Match Officials for the ICC World Test Championship Final through an official media release. Indian fans would have a sigh of relief to know that English umpire Richard Kettleborough won’t be the on-field umpire for the India vs New Zealand WTC Final.
Several fans would be aware of the infamous phenomena involving Ricard Kettleborough and the Indian team during an ICC knockout match. It has been observed that whenever Kettleborough has been the umpire for an ICC knockout match involving India, the Indian team has always lost the match. The long list of matches involving the infamous observation includes the 2014 T20 World Cup Final against Sri Lanka, 2015 World Cup Semi-final against Australia, 2016 T20 World Cup Semi-final against West Indies, 2017 Champions Trophy Final against Pakistan and the 2019 World Cup Semi-final against New Zealand.
As per the WTC Final umpires list by the ICC, Chris Broad of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees will oversee the proceedings of the IND vs NZ Final. On the other hand, Richard Illingworth and Michael Gough of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires will be the on-field officials for the match. Meanwhile, Richard Kettleborough who is also a member of the elite panel will be a part of the WTC Final. However, this time he will be the TV umpire while Alex Wharf of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires will be the fourth official.
Speaking upon the WTC Final umpires list, ICC Senior Manager - Umpires and Referees, Adrian Griffith said that they were pleased to announce an experienced team of match officials for the final of the World Test Championship. He also said that it has not been an easy time with the pandemic, but they were fortunate to have a group of officials at the top of their field who have been consistent over the years in this momentous fixture. He concluded by wishing all the officials the very best for the WTC Final.
The IND vs NZ WTC Final will see India go against New Zealand from June 18-22 where both teams will battle for the first World Test Championship title at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand team has also begun with the 2-match Test series against England from June 2. After concluding India vs New Zealand WTC Final, the India squad for WTC Final will face England in the India vs England Test Series that will consist of 5 Test matches starting from August 4 at Trent Bridge.