As per reports of Times of India, Team India is scheduled to play two intra-squad matches in Durham in preparation for the upcoming five-match Test series against the hosts England. The first Test match between India and England will begin in Nottingham on August 4.
Team India currently has some time off from cricket after losing the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final to New Zealand in Southampton on June 23. The players are on a 3-month tour of England with their spouses and families and might be allowed by the BCCI to explore in and around London further, keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.
Indian Contingent Will Play Two Intra-Squad Games At The Riverside Ground In Durham
The Indian team will need to reassemble in Durham after spending their break with their families, as they will reenter the bio-secure bubble for the England Test series. It is also learnt that the eight players who were not part of the 15-man squad for the WTC final had dispersed from Southampton once the match got underway last week.
As reported by the Times of India, the current planning is for the Indian contingent to play two intra-squad games at the Riverside Ground in Durham before they travel to Nottingham for the first Test a week before the match.
Though the BCCI has reportedly requested the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for two FC class games as a warmup for the England Test series, TOI has reported that ECB is reluctant to deviate from the plans of not giving any first-class games to the Indian team.
“The itinerary was made keeping the Covid protocols in place. It’s difficult to get County teams in the same bubble as the Indian team. The ECB is very careful about the safety of the players. The Indian team bubble will be made in Durham,” a BCCI source told TOI.
ECB is also reluctant to provide the Indian team with FC practice games given that it has flourishing County championships alongside the T20 Vitality Blast and the inaugural season of ‘The Hundred’ during July. The ECB would want all its resources in place at the same time.