Team India will begin preparations for their long stay in England with an eight-day bio-bubble beginning in India on May 25. The team will then quarantine for a further ten days on arrival in the United Kingdom on June 2.
Team India will spend more than three months in England, as they play a five-match Test series against England after the World Test Championship final with New Zealand. The ICC Test Championship final kicks off on June 18 in Southampton, while the Test series will begin on August 4.
Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official in cognisance of Team India’s travel arrangements said about the upcoming England assignment.
“You can expect the boys to come into the bubble on May 25, as it will be an 8-day quarantine period which will not involve just testing against COVID-19, but also there will not be any movement as the boys prepare for the UK schedule. Once in the UK on June 2, the boys will go for another 10-day quarantine. But this time the cricketers can train, as they’ll be moving in a charter plane from a bubble in India to a bubble in England. A bubble-to-bubble move lets them train even though there will be continuous testing at all times and no further movement,” the official explained.
With more than a month’s hiatus between the end of the World Test Championship final and the start of the England Test series, Team India will stay back in England to get acclimatised to the conditions. The BCCI official confirmed that players would be allowed to travel with their families for the long tour.
“Not just the duration of the tour, the COVID-19 restrictions also mean you cannot move around the place. There will be more than a month’s gap between the Test Championship Final and the opening Test against England at Trent Bridge from August 4. The players will have their families travelling with them,” the BCCI official confirmed.
BCCI mulling over vaccination options for Team India
With the Indian government opening up vaccinations for everyone above 18 on May 1, all members of the Indian cricket team are eligible to take their shots. Shikhar Dhawan recently became one of the first active Indian players to get vaccinated. The BCCI has confirmed that plans are underway to vaccinate all the players as soon as possible.
“The Indian government has opened vaccination for every person above 18, so the players can take their first dose. But the second dose is the question here. The BCCI is looking at working closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board to ensure players can get a second dose in the UK. If that is not approved by the UK government, we will have the vaccine taken from India for the second dose. Let’s see how that works out in the coming days,” the official stated.
Team India will look to become the inaugural World Test Championship winners when they take on New Zealand next month. After that, Virat Kohli’s men will turn their attention to the marquee England series and hope to fare better than they did last time; Team India lost 1-4 in the 2018 series.