“England will come to India next year; D/N Test in Ahmedabad or Kolkata” – BCCI official

Amid fears over shifting the series to UAE, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, is hoping the Indian government will allow the creation of bio-bubbles for the safe conduct of England’s all-format visit earlier next year, with either Ahmedabad or Kolkata hosting a D/N Test. 

A board official part of the BCCI apex council meeting on Saturday (October 17) where the matter was discussed told ANI much the same. 

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“The idea is to create bio-secure bubble across three to four venues as per permission from the government. The pink-ball Test will be held either in Ahmedabad or Kolkata. That call will be taken at the right time looking at the conditions. But yes, England is coming over to India,” the official said. 

Another major point of agenda in the meeting was the 14-day quarantine during India’s forthcoming tour of Australia this winter. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government has imposed strict isolation rules on all tourists arriving down under. 

The BCCI, though, is requesting Cricket Australia (CA) to find a way that the Indian team can have the period of inactivity reduced or be allowed to train in the phase before the marquee tour comprising three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests, a detailed itinerary for which is yet awaited. 

“Looks like the quarantine phase will remain 14 days. The venues remain as it was and the itinerary has come in. We will be going directly from the UAE so the idea is to see if the quarantine period can be decreased. But as of now, doesn’t look like,” the official said.

The apex council also discussed the feasibility of starting the 2020-21 domestic season at some stage in coming weeks, with the likelihood that some competitions will have to be compromised due to the near-impossible task of creating bio-bubbles for 38 teams in multiple venues across India. 

Suggestions have been made to just play out the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 this winter as that would be more convenient, but the official said the board is looking at the Ranji Trophy and women’s one-dayers for now. 

“This is a dicey situation as we need to be cautious with so many teams and players involved. As of now, we are looking at a January start with the Ranji Trophy and women’s one-dayers being played. But we have to constantly monitor the situation before we get underway,” said the official after the meeting where 2018-2019 accounts of the BCCI were also approved. 

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