The World Test Championship (WTC) final is just around the corner. On one hand, New Zealand are already in the middle of a Test series against England and will have more positives than the hosts from the drawn game at Lord's. Their opponents India, on the other, will get out of hard quarantine to get a feel of the Southampton wicket in coming days but won't get any proper match practice before the summit clash that kicks off on June 18.
With a bit over 10 days to go for the epic encounter, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has offered a clarification regarding the follow-on rule. The world cricket governing body said that the follow-on rule will not change if play is washed out on Day 1 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, unlike to what happens in case of other Test matches. This is because in other games in the longest format, teams have five days overall to complete the match, however, in the WTC final there is a provision of an extra (reserve) day that increases the overall count of days to 6.
What do the rules say?
In the ICC playing conditions, the normal follow-on rule says, "14.1.1: The side which bats first and leads by at least 200 runs shall have the option of requiring the other side to follow their innings. 14.1.2 The same option shall be available in matches of shorter duration with the minimum leads as follows: - 150 runs in a match of 3 or 4 days; - 100 runs in a 2-day match; - 75 runs in a 1-day match."
In addition, clause 14.3 states: "If no play takes place on the first and second days of the match, clause 14.1 shall apply in accordance with the number of days remaining (including the scheduled Reserve Day) from the start of play. The day on which play first commences shall count as a whole day for this purpose, irrespective of the time at which play starts. Play will have taken place as soon as, after the call of Play, the first over has started."
However, a repot carried by Cricbuzz quoting ICC sources has confirmed that the cause Clause 14.3 has been amended so that the lead of 200 runs is reduced to 150 only when the first two days are washed out because if just the first day is washed out then it remains a five-day match with the reserve day coming into the picture.