The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has requested the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to cut down the last of the scheduled five Test matches in England to create a window for the suspended 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL). The IPL-14 was eventually deferred after an increase in coronavirus cases among players and support staff.
After the World Test Championship in Southampton from June 18 to 22, India’s Test squad will stay back in England for the five-Test series, scheduled between August 4 and September 14.
Sportstar understands that the BCCI, in an informal discussion, had requested the ECB to advance the series by a week so that it gets over in September first week. However, after weighing out various options, a BCCI insider confirmed late on Thursday evening that the only option it may explore is to request any of the counties if they are willing to forfeit a Test match.
“Since the venues in England are booked keeping in mind their tight international calendar and The Hundred, it’s not possible for them to advance the series. If any of the counties agree, India will compensate with increasing the number of games in the limited-overs series next year,” a BCCI source told this publication.
With the T20 World Cup set to begin around October 20, it will be impossible for the BCCI to carve out a three-week window for the IPL, keeping in mind the quarantine protocols. Members of India’s touring entourage, most of whom have been quarantined in Mumbai, are hoping that they will have clarity about the itinerary before boarding the flight on June 2.