World Test Championship final won’t be affected: ICC
The World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand will go ahead as planned in Southampton from June 18, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said after India was added to Britain’s ‘red list’ of locations from which most travel is banned due to a high number of Covid-19 cases.
British health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday most people who have travelled to India in the last 10 days will be banned from entering the UK from Friday.
British or Irish residents, or those with residency rights within the UK, will be allowed in but must quarantine in a hotel at their own cost for 10 days. However, the ICC has expressed confidence in staging the WTC final in a bio-secure environment.
“The ECB and other members have demonstrated how we can stage international cricket safely in the middle of a pandemic and we are confident that we can continue to do that and that the WTC final will go ahead as planned in June in the UK,” said the ICC in a statement.
“We are currently discussing with the UK government the impact of countries being on the ‘red list’,” it added.
It’s not clear whether players, who are already in their respective IPL bubbles, will have to undergo quarantine again. The BCCI will be in discussions with the ICC and the ECB in this regard. It may be recalled that after IPL 13 in the UAE, the Indian team had to undergo 14 days of quarantine in Australia.
Media reports in the UK said that in case it is required, the Rose Bowl in Southampton and its on-site hotel could be cleared for ‘red list’ arrivals by reverting to the full bio-secure set up that saw it successfully stage international fixtures last season.
“We are currently discussing with the government the impact of countries being on the ‘red list’. By working collaboratively we demonstrated how we can stage international cricket safely in the middle of a pandemic and hope to be able to do so again this year,” an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
New Zealand Cricket said on Tuesday all of its home-based players heading to England for a two-match Test series and the WTC final have received their first dose of a Coid-19 vaccine.
The New Zealand government said last month it would allow athletes to jump the queue in the country’s vaccine rollout to allow them to participate in events of “national significance”.
NZC posted a photo on Twitter of paceman Neil Wagner getting his injection on Tuesday. “He’s the last of our New Zealand-based players to receive the first of two doses ahead of departure to England in May,” NZC tweeted.