The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), on Friday, confirmed that Australia's limited-overs tour of England, which has three T20Is and as many ODIs, will begin in September.

The tour was initially scheduled for July 2020, but was postponed due to the outbreak of the global virus. The shortest format will be played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, on 4, 6 and 8 September, while Old Trafford will host the 50-over series on 11, 13 and 16 September.

Both these venues have successfully hosted all three series that England have played (West Indies, Ireland and Pakistan) since the sporting action resumed. 

"We owe a significant debt of gratitude to the players, staff and administrators of Cricket Australia for their efforts in getting this tour underway. Their co-operation to ensure these matches are staged is crucial to cricket in this country. It will also provide much-needed financial aid at all levels of cricket in England and Wales as we work through the challenges in front of us," ECB CEO Tom Harrison said, adding that the tour will be the perfect way to end the men's international season this summer.

As per the UK government's directives, Australia are one of the cities from where you can travel to the country and would not need to be in a quarantine period. It is being said that the Australian squad will leave for the UK on August 23 and will play a few practise matches in order to gain the match fitness. Justin Langer's men have been out of action since March.

“It’s vital for cricket that we do everything we can to keep the game going in these tough times,” Langer said. “I am delighted with how the players have returned to their states from the break back in March. The whole squad has come back fitter and stronger, which is a great testament to each of them.

“We have a massive assignment ahead with World Cups, Test Series against India and South Africa and the Ashes next year. We can’t wait to get back into it again.”

Ahead of the tour, Australia also named a 21-man travelling squad which included as many as three uncapped players in Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe.

Australia squad for the tour of England: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Australia tour of England schedule:

September 4: 1st T20 (Ageas Bowl)

September 6: 2nd T20 (Ageas Bowl)

September 8: 3rd T20 (Ageas Bowl)

September 11: 1st ODI (Emirates Old Trafford)

September 13: 2nd ODI (Old Trafford)

September 16: 3rd ODI (Old Trafford)

Indian T20 League on hold

With the tour ending on September 16, it is likely that players from both the sides will miss the opening few fixtures of the 13th edition of the Indian T20 League, which begins on September 19 and will run until November 10. While exhaustion is one of the reasons, the players actually have to undergo a six-day isolation period upon reaching UAE.

Reports claim that the franchises have asked the Indian T20 League governing council to lower the quarantine norms for players joining in late, but the management has rightly declined the request.

“We can’t lower our guard. Any relaxation to anyone can cost us the Indian T20 League edition. Franchises have to live with the fact that some cricketers will miss one or two games. We all need to be vigilant and compliant in these very difficult times”, a senior BCCI functionary was quoted by InsideSport.

There are as many as 17 players from Australia and 11 players from England who are associated with this year's Indian T20 League. The list is as follows:

Chennai: Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, Shane Watson 

Delhi: Alex Carrey, Jason Roy, Stoinis

Kolkata: Pat Cummins, Green, Gurney, Eoin Morgan, T. Banton

Punjab: C.Jordan, Glenn Maxwell

Hyderabad: Bairstow, Mitchell Marsh, Stanlake, David Warner

Rajasthan: Jofra Archer, Buttler, T.Curran, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, A.Tye

Bangalore: Moeen Ali, Aaron Finch, J.Philippe, K.Richardson

Mumbai: Coulter -Nile, Chriss Lynn
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Oli Scarff