With the IPL set to go ahead in the United Arab Emirates, starting with the encounter between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, the BCCI have devoted all their energy to make the tournament a massive success. However, the plan for the England-India series is yet to be discussed in detail.
As per the initial plan, England were due to arrive in India at the end of September for a tour involving three ODIs and three T20s, but the pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of the T20 World Cup, which led to the BCCI planning the initially-postponed IPL for September to November in the UAE, put a spanner in the works. That will now be played during England's Test tour scheduled from late January to late March 2021, but the BCCI is yet to arrive on a decision regarding the venues.
SportsCafe has learnt that no formal meeting has happened to discuss the same since Jay Shah, along with ECB's chief executive officer Tom Harrison, announced the postponement of the series for early next year. However, people in the know of things, including those of the host broadcasters, are confident that the series will be played in India with a bio-secure bubble in place.
“Right now, the focus is entirely on the IPL so no concrete decision has been taken if it will be played in India or it will follow the IPL’s suit and be played in the UAE. But if you look at things and the way the development regarding the bio-secure bubble are happening, we are better placed to organised in India with a hub structure,” a senior BCCI official told SportsCafe.
“The same, however, couldn’t have been replicated for a tournament like IPL where logistics can be an issue. But for international assignments with two teams in question, we can easily arrange that in the country with proper Covid testing formula in place,” the official added.
Five Tests are also scheduled to be played on that tour apart from the white-ball leg that will comprise three ODIs and as many T20s. However, the official is currently not sure how everything can be accommodated due to the 14th IPL that is scheduled to run from early April. The possibility of a Test being reduced is not off the table yet.
“A decision regarding the same will be taken by the end of October. We will be having a meeting with the ECB soon as well.”