Several reports earlier on Thursday had suggested that BCCI had written to ECB in order to rejig the five-match Test schedule to accommodate the remaining season of IPL. However, according to Cricbuzz reports, the ECB have denied any such requests from the Indian board regarding the schedule.
When the Indian Premier League was postponed mid-season, there were talks as to where the remaining matches would be hosted, given the situation in India. While England and the Middle East emerged as a prime option, the former gained traction, owing to the fact that India are set to play a total of six Tests in the country.
The traction led to reports in the English media, Times London, which cited that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have asked the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to tweak the Test schedule and rejig the dates. While the tweak would not only have an effect on the World Test Championship but also The Hundred, which is set to be hosted in the venues earmarked for the Test series. Not just that, there were also talks of reducing the series down to four games, which would essentially take away the hosting rights from a county, a move that could have severe financial implications.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India has enquired about the possibility of moving the final Test of the English summer in order to make room to complete the postponed Indian Premier League. Informal discussions have been had between the respective boards as cricket continues to grapple with a schedule ravaged by Covid,” a report in Times London said, reported Cricbuzz.
"The request puts the ECB in a tricky position, stuck between the rock of wanting to maintain good relations with the most powerful cricket nation as well as being as flexible and helpful as possible given the postponement of the game's most financially lucrative competition, and the hard place of not impacting on their own carefully planned domestic schedule. At this late stage, it is hard to see the ECB acceding to any potential change and it is expected to hold its ground," it added.
According to those reports, BCCI had apparently requested the English cricketing board, to advance the fifth Test at Old Trafford from September second week to July fourth week. That would then allow the BCCI to capture the September window, to use it for the remainder of the IPL. However, Cricbuzz, in its report banished any talks of the BCCI with ECB in regards to the rejigging of the schedule.
"We talk to the BCCI on a regular basis about a wide range of issues especially as we address the challenges of Covid-19, but have had no official request to change dates and are continuing to plan for the five Test series as is scheduled," a spokesman for the England board said late on Thursday (May 19) night, reported Cricbuzz.