Constant rains on consecutive days in Southampton left the audience questioning regarding Hampshire Bowl being the host for World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand.
The first day of the first ever ICC World Test Championship Final was washed off due to consistent rains. What was the reason behind ICC's decision of choosing Southampton as the host for this grand final, being aware of the fact that Southampton receives rains for 185 days in a year, which is more than 50% of the total days.
The hosting rights for this final was given to the England Cricket Board (ECB) by the ICC. Initially, this match was earmarked to be held on the historical and prestigious venue of Lords, which has also been the witness of several important ICC matches, both for men and women. Due to its historical significance, the epic final of WTC was also scheduled to be held in Lords.
In March 2021, the second wave of covid-19 pandemic was on the surge, which made ECB too rethink to build a bio-bubble for the finalists of WTC for their safety and security. Although Lords provided a great playing area as well as space for audience, players needed to travel from ground to hotel, exposing them to risks of infections.
The facility needed to overcome this obstacle was on-site hotels. Southampton and Manchester are the only two cricket stadiums where players can have the facility of on-site hotels. This ensured that they don't have to travel anywhere apart from the playing venue, making it secure for them creating a bio-bubble around.
In fact, the first international match played during the pandemic between England and West Indies was also held at Southampton in July 2020. The reason again was its premium on-site hotels, considering the safety of players.
Thus, Southampton being offering the most reliable facilities and conditions, and making safety of players the priority, it emerged as a clear favorite to host the grand first ever final of WTC, without any avoidable hurdles.