London will stage the next two World Test Championship finals as The Oval plays host next year while Lord’s has been revealed as the venue for the 2025 edition.
The International Cricket Council’s announcement means England are putting on the first three finals, with the Ageas Bowl the location for New Zealand’s win over India in the inaugural showpiece last year.
Hampshire was given the nod ahead of Lord’s, the initial choice, because of the Southampton ground’s proven ability to manage a fully bio-secure environment amid the Covid-19 situation at the time.
— ICC (@ICC) September 21, 2022
ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “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.
“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.”
Australia top the 2021-23 World Test Championship table and are touring England next year for the Ashes series, which is being squeezed into 46 days between June 16 and July 31.
South Africa are second after a 2-1 defeat by England – in which they lost the third Test at the Oval by nine wickets after just over two days of play earlier this month – with Sri Lanka sitting third and India fourth.
Despite winning six of seven Tests under Ben Stokes this summer, England’s modest record before that means they sit seventh out of nine teams and are almost certainly out of contention to reach The Oval.
The cut-off point for this cycle of the World Test Championship is the end of March next year, with the top two teams set to play the final in June.
The exact date for both the 2023 and 2025 finals will be confirmed by the ICC “in due course”.