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Friday, August 06, 2021

BCCI wants warm-up games before Test series

The Indian team did not have any warm-up matches ahead of the World Test Championship final in Southampton against New Zealand this week.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai |
Updated: June 25, 2021 3:21:36 pm
A view of the unofficial intra-squad practice match India played in Southampton before the WTC final (Twitter/BCCI)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah will be requesting England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to organise two warm-up matches for the Indian team before its five-match Test series during the English summer.

The Indian Express understands that Shah spoke to Indian team management about this on Thursday, and they also agreed that the players will need those tune-up games before the long series ahead. Top BCCI officials, too, it has been learnt, have come on board with the idea after an internal meeting.

“Jay (Shah) will be speaking to ECB and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Harrison to make an arrangement for two warm-up games before the five Test match series,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told this newspaper.

“The secretary felt that the BCCI should request the ECB to give at least two warm-up games so that players can get in some good match practice before the series starts.”

However, it is not clear whether the preparation games requested will be a four or three-day affair.

The Indian team did not have any warm-up matches ahead of the World Test Championship final in Southampton against New Zealand this week.

Furthermore, while the Indian board has always made it a point to arrange a shadow India A tour before any international series, the idea did not materialise ahead of the upcoming England series. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, both the BCCI and ECB decided to postpone the India A tour.

Following its defeat to New Zealand, the Indian team has been given a three-week break before they regroup ahead of the first Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on August 4. Players have been given the luxury of travelling, but will be required to report back immediately when called upon.

In its press statement earlier, ECB chief executive officer Harrison, said, “We are looking forward to staging a memorable summer of men’s and women’s international cricket when fans are set to return to venues.

“Ensuring the safest possible environment for international cricket is our first priority and we are appreciative for the understanding of our fellow boards.

The statement further read, “We look forward to welcoming a men’s India A tour at a later date after this summer and when restrictions have eased. It will provide a valuable opportunity for players from both countries to experience high-quality cricket and to showcase the talent within our England Lions team and first-class counties.”

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