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WTC Final: Kevin Pietersen claims such a game shouldn't be played in the UK; Virender Sehwag trolls ICC

Southampton, June 21: As the highly-anticipated ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and New Zealand continues to become a scapegoat of inclement English weather, former England captain Kevin Pietersen claimed an 'incredibly important cricket game shouldn't be played in the UK'.

Only 141 overs in all have been bowled in the first three days of an all-important final which has been touted as 'The Ultimate Test' and gives the game its first-ever Test champion in the 144-year-long history of the longer format of the game.

WTC Final: Southampton weather, rain forecast on Day 4 of World Test ChampionshipWTC Final: Southampton weather, rain forecast on Day 4 of World Test Championship

The play on day four was called off due to the incessant rain as the skies kept pouring all day long in Southampton on Monday (June 21). The forecast for the day proved to be annoyingly accurate to the dismay of players, as well as, the millions of cricket fans who were eagerly waiting for this marquee clash after the culmination of some tightly fought WTC games.

South Africa-born Pietersen - who has played 104 Tests and scored 8181 runs in the format for England - took to his Twitter handle on Monday and wrote: "It pains me to say it, but a ONE-OFF & incredibly important cricket game should NOT be played in the UK."

The explosive right-handed batsman in his playing days claimed he would have hosted a one-off match of such importance in the UAE, where the weather conditions, unlike the UK, during this time of the month are guaranteed. He even took a dig at ICC for the cricket stadium in Dubai is adjacent to ICC headquarters.

WTC Final: Explained: The reserve day rules at the Ageas BowlWTC Final: Explained: The reserve day rules at the Ageas Bowl

"If it was up to me, Dubai would always host a one-off match like this WTC game. Neutral venue, fabulous stadium, guaranteed weather, excellent training facilities, and a travel hub! Oh, and ICC home is next to the stadium," the 40-year-old wrote further.

When a user questioned him for the weather in Southampton was only better a week ago, Pietersen responded, "Cos this very important game is a washout. The weather isn't predictable at all. A one-off cannot be guaranteed to have the weather this match needs."

Meanwhile, former India opener Virender Sehwag too took potshots at the global cricket body for not giving it a proper thought before finalising the venue for such an important game. Sehwag, in his own witty style, wrote on Twitter that the batsmen, as well as, the ICC didn't get the timing right in the WTC Final.

"Batsman ko bhi Timing nahi mili dhang ki, aur ICC ko bhi. (Neither the batsmen nor the ICC got the timing right) #WTCFinal," tweeted the Nawab of Najafgarh.

The ICC has, however, secured a reserve day for the match as a contingency but that too won't be enough to ensure a result for more than two days have been washed out due to rain already.

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Story first published: Monday, June 21, 2021, 19:29 [IST]
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