The schedule of the five-match Test series between India and England is unlikely to change despite a request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The BCCI had requested the ECB to adjust the schedule a bit to accommodate the second half of the currently suspended Indian Premier League in September but the ECB isn’t too keen on that.
Phase 2 of the IPL is slated to begin on September 19 and the final will be played on October 10. That led the BCCI to request the ECB to tweak the India-England Test series schedule a bit, which is slated to start on August 4 and go on till September 14.
The reason behind ECB not being keen on changing the schedule is believed to be logistical issues, according to a report in The Telegraph UK. It also states that the ECB did look at the opportunity of doing the same and helping BCCI out but due to the issues mentioned above, the schedule is unlikely to change and remain the same with the first Test going ahead in Nottingham from August 4 and the last being played at Manchester from September 10 to September 14.
BCCI had informally approached ECB in the last weeks of May to conclude the five-match Test series early so that the remainder of IPL 14 could have been scheduled in mid-September. The BCCI wanted the fifth Test to be moved before the first Test or be scheduled a few days earlier by reducing the gap of the Test matches in between. But with the last three days of the final Test already sold out and other Test matches having the same issue, the ECB isn’t quite keen on doing the same. Shifting the match to an earlier date is also not a solution because of the ECB’s new competition — The Hundred.
As things stand, there is a nine-day gap between the second and third Test match at Lord’s and Headingley but because of tickets being sold out, hotels booked and the broadcasting schedule finalised, a change isn’t feasible on behalf of the ECB.
Therefore, the Indian players in the United Kingdom will now have to fly from London to the UAE on September 15 and undertake a three-day quarantine before IPL 2021 resumes on September 19.
The IPL is also likely to lose out on many international players with them deciding not to travel to the UAE for the second half of the season because of the coronavirus situation.
Following the end of the IPL, the UAE along with Oman will host the World T20 from October 17 to November 14. The tournament that was earlier scheduled to be held in India was moved out because of the ongoing COVID-19 problems in India.
Stay tuned to our website for more updates and news on the England vs India Test series.