India likely to leave for England earlier than expected ahead of WTC Final against New Zealand
It’s pertinent to note that the UK government has restricted the entry of Indian nationals to the UK from April 23.
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India and New Zealand are all set to lock horns in the final of the World Test Championship, starting June 18 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Earlier, the teams were planned to leave for the match in England after the conclusion of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League. However, the postponement of the IPL has turned the dynamics of the scenario to some extent.
India is currently under the grip of the COVID-19 second wave. The death tolls are rising and state governments are churning out lockdowns to mitigate the damage caused by the novel coronavirus. The players from India and New Zealand were expected to take a chartered plane from India to the United Kingdom after the tournament, but the plans have changed as of now.
Going by reports in Sports Today, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is in touch with the UK government and the England and Wales Cricket Board to make sure that Virat Kohli and his men could reach England without much hassle. It’s pertinent to note that the UK government has restricted the entry of Indian nationals to the UK from April 23.
Even Irish and British nationals, with resident rights of the UK, have to serve a significant amount of time in isolation. As far as India is concerned, even when the vaccination drive is underway, the grim situation in the country is getting grimmer by the day. Even during the IPL matches, advice of wearing masks, and following other precautionary measures were floated.
BCCI might announce the India squad earlier
Amidst the current scenario, the national selectors might name the squads earlier for the WTC final and the five-match Test series against India. They are likely to announce a jumbo squad as they did in the tour of Australia earlier this year. The Indian cricket board has to submit the list of Indian cricketers, support staff, and coaches.
As far as the quarantine rules are concerned, a 14-day quarantine period seems likely. It remains to be seen if the Indian team gets to practice during that phase. When West Indies and Pakistan toured England last year, they trained during their isolation period.