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Rubbishing claims that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has requested to curtail the duration of the Test series between England and India, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has clarified that there have been no such talks between the two boards. The ECB further stated that the five-match Test series will go on as per schedule. 

“We talk to the BCCI on a regular basis about a wide range of issues especially as we address the challenges of COVID-19, but have had no official request to change dates and are continuing to plan for the five Test series as is scheduled,” an ECB spokesperson informed the Times of India.

The request reportedly came in the wake of potentially resuming the Indian T20 League, which was suspended midway in the wake of the rising COVID-19 cases in India.

It was also reported that the BCCI is trying to explore opportunities to squeeze the remaining 31 games of the 2021 Indian T20 league in the United Kingdom (UK). 

The UAE and Sri Lanka have already expressed their interest in hosting the remainder of the Indian T20 league, but it appears that the BCCI wants to keep more options on the table. 

However, a source further told TOI that hosting the tournament in the UK might turn out to be a risky proposition. 

“There are a lot of factors that need to be considered. The ECB has suffered massive losses due to the pandemic last year. They have the inaugural 'The Hundred' in July-August this year.” 

Currently, the Indian cricket team is in quarantine at a hotel in Mumbai and will leave the country in the first week of June to play the World Test Championship (WTC) finals against New Zealand and five Tests against England. 

While the WTC finals will commence on June 18 in Southampton, the first Test against England will only start on August 4 in Nottingham.

Featured photo: AFP / Sajjad Hussain

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