India and New Zealand will lock horns in the inaugural final of the ICC World Test Championship on the 18th of June in Southampton. India and New Zealand were the top two teams to finish in the points table and would compete for the ultimate prize in Test cricket. But with the travel and quarantine restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Virat Kohli’s men might leave earlier for the UK than expected.
India and New Zealand players, who participated in IPL 2021, were expected to take a chartered plane from India to the United Kingdom after the tournament. Nevertheless, the BCCI postponed the competition indefinitely on Tuesday, as a cluster of COVID-19 cases emerged within the bubble. A handful of men from four franchises reported infections that made it improbable for the BCCI to continue the event.
Sports Today reported that BCCI is conversing with the United Kingdom government and the England Cricket Board to ensure that Indian cricketers could reach England. It is worth noting that the United Kingdom government included India on a travel ‘red list’, restricting the entry of Indian nationals to the UK from the 23rd of April. Even British and Irish nationals, with resident rights of the UK, have to serve a significant amount of time in isolation.
BCCI might have to announce India’s squad well in advance:
Keeping all these in mind, the selectors might have to name India’s squad well in advance for the World Test Championship final and the five-match Test series against England, beginning from the 4th of August. The Indian cricket board has to submit the list of Indian cricketers, support staff, and coaches who will travel to England for their two major assignments. They will likely announce a jumbo squad similar to their Australia tour.
As for the quarantine regulations, the two cricket boards have to agree with the British government on the same. A 14-day isolation period seems most likely and it remains to be seen if the men in blue get a chance to train during that period. Notably, when West Indies and Pakistan toured England last year, they trained during their isolation periods after returning negative COVID-19 reports upon arriving in the United Kingdom.