The Test match that BCCI has proposed to play in lieu of the cancelled fifth Test would be a one-off game, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said on Friday.
“No, I think it’s a standalone situation. We have been offered a few other options, probably need to take a look (at those),” Harrison told Sky Sports. “The glass half-full version of it is that the prospects of playing a one-off Test match against India as a focal point, let’s try to deliver on that. It can be the only good news that comes out of a day like today.”
Harrison was at pains to point out that the IPL was not a relevant factor in India’s decision making. Players from both teams involved in the competition are now hoping to arrange flights from the UK to the UAE on Saturday, with a six-day quarantine period likely to be necessary.
“Let me be super clear,” Harrison said. “I don’t think the IPL has anything to do with this. This is not a situation which has been created by the rescheduled IPL. I fundamentally do not believe that for a second.
“I was on the phone all night. Once those fears creep in they can be very hard to shift. There are no winners in this one... 100 per cent of the BCCI wanted to get this game on. There is a strong relationship between the ECB and BCCI. We will definitely come through this, probably even stronger than we went in.
“The outcome of this game is not one for today. Thoughts will turn to that soon. It is a decision for the ICC in the context of the World Test Championship,” Harrison added.
The most likely window for the rescheduled game is in July next year when India would be in England for a limited-overs series. BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly is expected to later meet Harrison and Ian Whatmore to discuss the modalities.