The first-ever ICC World Test Championship final will now be played from June 18-22 at the Lord's Cricket Ground, while June 23 will be the reserve day.
The final was initially set to occur from June 10-14 at the same venue. But the dates have now been changed, keeping in mind that the summit clash of IPL 2021 could be closer to the start of this finale.
With Team India one of the front-runners to make it to the World Test Championship final, the side might need to go through a hard quarantine period of 14 days before the game is played at Lord's.
Thus, the shift in dates will give them enough time to regroup following the end of IPL 2021.
This change in the World Test Championship final dates has also given England an opportunity to host the No.1 ranked Test side New Zealand for a two-match Test series.
The first Test will be played at Lord's from June 2-6 and the second Test will be played at Edgbaston from June 10-14.
World Test Championship final - A 'three-horse' race
England's 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka has given them an outside chance of qualifying for the World Test Championship final. But realistically, the race is still just between three teams - India, New Zealand and Australia.
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICC came up with a new rule for ranking teams in the WTC points table. The teams are now ranked not based on the amount of points they get, but on the percentage of points they earn out of the total up for grabs.
Team India's incredible 2-1 series win over Australia Down Under has put them in the driver's seat to qualify for the World Test Championship final.
India are sitting pretty at the top of the WTC table with 71.7%, having bagged 430 points from the five series that they have played in the WTC cycle of 2019-2021.
The Indians will get another series which will consist of four Tests at home against England. The hosts need another 80 points to seal their place in the World Test Championship final. This means that a 2-0, 3-0, 3-1 or 4-0 victory for India will see them board a flight for the final at Lord's.
Australia, on the other hand, have severely dented their chances of making it to the World Test Championship final after their loss against India. They are now sitting in third place in the WTC points table with 69.2%, having bagged 332 points from five series.
The Aussies will get another three-match Test series against South Africa, from which they will require 93 points to qualify for the World Test Championship final. This means that they will need to win at least two out of the three Tests, and avoid defeat against the Proteas.
New Zealand, unfortunately, won't be playing another series in this WTC cycle. Nevertheless, they managed to whitewash West Indies and Pakistan, due to which they are second in the table with 70%.
Unless England extraordinarily beat India 4-0 or Australia fulfill their qualifying scenario, the World Test Championship final is likely be contested between India and New Zealand.