The World Cup final against New Zealand will be India’s first in a neutral place in 89-year history

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Indian cricket team

The final of the Indian World Championship (WTC) against New Zealand in Southampton will be their first test in a neutral place in their 89-year history of test cricket.

Among the countries with test status, India and Bangladesh are the only countries that have not played test cricket in a neutral place.

Over the last decade, most international cricket teams have played series against Pakistan in a neutral place, as there was no cricket in Pakistan. The series was mostly in the United Arab Emirates, with almost no crowd for both countries, as the test matches found few participants in the Emirates.

No country has visited Pakistan in the 10 years since early 2009, when a cricket team in Sri Lanka was attacked by gunmen.

As India has not played a test match against Pakistan since the 2007-08 home series, they should not play a single match in a neutral place.

India had the opportunity to play in a neutral place in 1999-00 during the Asian test championships. The final was played in Dhaka, but India failed to reach it and Pakistan and Sri Lanka were involved in a clash for the title in Dhaka.

However, the WTC final in Southampton is likely to be played in front of a crowd of 4,000 people and may have many Indian fans, though not as many as India is used to at home or even abroad today.

Rod Bransgrove, chairman of the Hampshire State Cricket Club, was quoted by the media as saying that of the 4,000 tickets, 50% would go to the ICC for their sponsors and stakeholders, while they would sell the remaining 2,000 tickets.

“We have already received more than double applications from fans. This is a game of great interest and there is a good demand for it,” he told Cricbuzz.



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