NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has offered the men and women cricketers charter flights from three cities to assemble in Mumbai on Wednesday before departing for the tour of England in the first week of June.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will have to undergo hard quarantine for two weeks in Mumbai. Players and support staff who live in and around Mumbai will enter the bubble a week later.
BCCI is still in talks with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and UK government authorities to formulate the quarantine upon reaching England. The tentative date of departure of both teams is June 2.
The Indian men’s team will head to Southampton for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand – starting on from June 18 – while the women’s team will go to Bristol to play a one-off Test against England from June 16.
TOI has learned that the board is pressing for a soft quarantine in England for the teams where the players could be allowed to train. The other sticking point is the quarantine regulations for the families travelling with the contingent.
“There may be a hard quarantine for a few days and then the players could be allowed to train. In Australia last November, the players were in hard quarantine for three days and then they were allowed to train. But the players could not move out of their hotel rooms after practice. Something similar is being mooted this time too,” a BCCI official told TOI.
The BCCI is looking at around 10 days of practice before the teams play their first match.
Meanwhile, the board is struggling to figure out how to get all the travelling members to Mumbai. Sources said the charter flights will pick players from Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi.
“The players who want to avail the charter flights will have to reach their nearest airports by car. Players from small towns have requested the board that they will be happy to travel to Mumbai in commercial flights if they are given business class tickets,” the official said.
The players have to get negative RT-PCR results before they enter the bubble in Mumbai. The board has arranged for the tests through a central agency. Players in small towns have been advised to get the tests done on their own and the board will reimburse.
BCCI MULLING DRAVID AS COACH FOR LANKA TOUR
With the Indian white-ball team scheduled to tour Sri Lanka in July, BCCI is deliberating sending Rahul Dravid as the coach of the team. The former India captain is considering the offer. Dravid has been the head coach of the India ‘A’ and U-19 teams between 2015-19 before assuming the post of head of cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. According to sources, Dravid is likely to travel with his trusted lieutenants Paras Mhambrey and Abhay Sharma on the tour. Sharma has been asked to travel to England with women’s team as the fielding coach. SS Das, who is appointed the women’s batting coach for England tour, may also go to Lanka.