The England cricket team will host New Zealand for a 2-match Test series starting June 2nd. But the Three Lions will be without some of its key players for half or entire series against the Kiwis owing to the latest covid regulations.
The UK government has added India to the ‘red list’ of countries from which most travel to the UK has been banned due to the surge of a new Covid variant in these nations. However, those with residence rights within the UK, will be obliged to serve a 10-day quarantine period on returning from the ‘red list’ countries.
Hence, players such as Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran (both Chennai Super Kings), Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), who are part of England’s Test teams and currently playing in the IPL will miss the first Test against New Zealand as the IPL league stage ends on May 23rd.
Further, if their teams qualify for the playoffs, which is from May 25th to the final on May 30th, those players stand a chance to miss the second Test match as well which will commence on June 10th.
According to Daily Mail, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has allowed its players to be part of the ongoing IPL for as long as possible after reaching an agreement with the BCCI.
Currently, there is no dispensation available to allow sportspeople to train out of their rooms while they serve that quarantine period, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Hence, the England players playing in the playoffs are likely to miss the entire home series against the Kiwis, who also would miss the likes of Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and James Neesham as they are, too, involved in the IPL.
Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes (both Rajasthan Royals) have already left India for fitness issues. The pacer could return to India, if and when declared match-fit, to play in the second half of the season for the Royals, while Stokes is ruled out of the entire tournament. Another English Royals star, Liam Livingstone has left IPL owing to bio-bubble fatigue.
England’s home summer, including WTC final, in danger after new covid restrictions
Since the UK has put India on the ‘red list’ and banned any non-British or non-Irish resident to enter the country, this has also put the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand in jeopardy. The WTC final will be played from June 18 at The Rose Bowl, Southampton.
Post the WTC final, India is scheduled to play a 5-Test series against England starting in August; Pakistan, which is also on the ‘red list’, is also scheduled to tour compete with Eoin Morgan’s side in ODI and T20I matches; while India’s women’s team is also scheduled to travel to England in June.