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Update WTC final - India, New Zealand to be crowned joint winners in case of a draw or tie
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[Image: india-and-new-zealand-would-be.jpg]

India and New Zealand would be crowned joint winners in case of a draw, or a tie, in the inaugural World Test Championship finale that kicks off in Southampton on June 18, International Cricket Council confirmed on Friday (May 28).

Additionally, a reserve day - after the five scheduled days of the Test - has been kept in case any playing time lost cannot be recovered through the normal provisions of catching up in regular Tests, which includes early starts and extra time allotment at the end of a day. However, the Reserve day will not be used if a positive outcome is not achieved after five full days of play, the ICC clarified.

The match referee will provide both teams regular updates on lost time, if any, and a final call on whether the reserve day is to be used will be taken at the start of the final hour on Day 5 of the Test.

The much-anticipated contest between the world's top-two ranked sides will also see the newly implemented tweaks to playing conditions into effect. These include TV umpires checking short-runs in real time, the enhanced height margin for LBW referrals and the option for the fielding captain or the dismissed batsman to confirm with the on-field umpire whether a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball before deciding to opt for a player review.

India have left out all-rounder Hardik Pandya and opener Prithvi Shaw for the one-off Test, while Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari come back after sustaining injuries in their team's famous come-from-behind series win in Australia earlier this year.

Southampton became a front-runner to stage the coveted final given its on-site accommodation facilities and was officially declared as the hosts in March.

BCCI awaiting flight schedule from ICC

An element of uncertainty looms over the Indian team's departure date even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has completed the vaccination drive for the two England-bound contingents - men and women - and their families. The last of the Indian team member to be vaccinated was Mohammed Shami, who got his inoculation done on Thursday (May 27) along with a host of women cricketers.

Meanwhile, the BCCI and team management are waiting for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to inform them about the flight schedule. Initially, an Emirates aircraft was expected to carry the 100-odd member contingent, including family members of the men's team, but the latest is that the world body is looking at organizing a British Airways aircraft. "It could be either on June 2 or 3, we're awaiting confirmation," said a board member.

The plan for the teams is to fly directly to Southampton where the players will have a few days of hard quarantine at the on-site hotel at Rose Bowl before the isolation clauses are relaxed and they are allowed practice at the ground. The 30-member women contingent also would undergo their quarantine at Southampton.

The Indian team will be joined by a couple of members of their support staff - trainer Nick Webb throwdown specialist Nuwan Seneviratne - in England. The two have not come to Mumbai to undergo quarantine with the contingent. Seneviratne is believed to be quarantining in Sri Lanka and Web would be joining from New Zealand.

The BCCI is also awaiting formal approval from the UK government to allow the family members of the Indian contingent. Barring a couple of members, who are going alone, almost every Indian player is travelling to England with families. The BCCI has closed visa applications for all of them - including for the newborns in some families -- hoping that the approval will come automatically. All the family members and their children are quarantining at a hotel in Mumbai currently.

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