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England's white-ball tour to India postponed over virus

07 August 2020, MVT 21:58
(L-R) England's Moeen Ali, England's Adil Rashid, England's Jonny Bairstow, England's captain Eoin Morgan, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, England's Jason Roy, England's Jofra Archer, England's Joe Root and England's Ben Stokes pose for a photograph outside 10 Downing Street with the World Cup trophy as England players arrive for a reception in London on July 15, 2019, a day after they won the 2019 Cricket World Cup after beating New Zealand the final at Lord's. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP)
07 August 2020, MVT 21:58

England's upcoming white-ball tour to India has been postponed due to disruption caused by the novel coronavirus, cricket chiefs announced on Friday.

A programme of three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games, originally due to start in late September, would have been ideal preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year.

But that tournament has now been put on hold and India is struggling to contain the outbreak of COVID-19.

Officials from England and India are in talks over dates for an all-formats England tour to India from late January to late March and India’s Test tour to England due later in 2021.

England, who are the reigning world champions in the 50-over format, are currently scheduled to play five Tests in India from January to March next year.

"International cricket between India and England is a highlight of the cricketing calendar and we look forward to working with the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to firm up the schedules for these eagerly anticipated tours as soon as possible," said ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) chief executive Tom Harrison.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah said: "I am pleased with the way BCCI and ECB have managed the situation. The rescheduled tour is also being redesigned in a way to accommodate both red and white-ball formats."

If health conditions do not improve, the fixtures could be staged in the United Arab Emirates, which will stage the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League from September.

The only major international cricket being staged anywhere in the world at present is in England, who are hosting Pakistan in a three-Test series.

It follows a Test series against West Indies and a one-day series against Ireland.

All of the matches are taking place behind closed doors, with strict anti-virus protocols in place.

Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP