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Michael Vaughan suggests how advancing India-England Test series by week will help in completing IPL 2021

From its current August 4 start, the BCCI wants ECB to start the Test series a week before to give them a better shot at completing the remaining 31 matches of the now-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

While no one from BCCI has officially confirmed the development, former England captain Michael Vaughan has tweeted: “Simple solution… Play the First Indian Test a week earlier… No England Test players would then potentially play the 100 so Fringe Indian Test players replace them… Then the IPL can finish… Good deal all round… #ENGvIND”

Earlier yesterday, renowned cricket writer Michael Atherton has reported about the development in ‘The Times’. “The Board of Control for Cricket in India has enquired about the possibility of moving the final Test of the English summer in order to make room to complete the postponed Indian Premier League,” the report said.

“Informal discussions have been had between the respective boards as cricket continues to grapple with a schedule ravaged by Covid.” The Indian team are looking at a potential gap of six weeks after the completion of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand which is scheduled from June 18-22 in Southampton and the start of the England series.

The five-Test series starts with the first match at Nottingham (Aug-4-8), followed by Lord’s (Aug 12-16), Leeds (Aug 25-29), Oval (Sep 2-6) and Manchester (Sep 10-14).

However, a potential start in the last week of July, with lesser gaps between the Tests would open the entire month of September in which BCCI can complete the IPL either in the UK or more likely in the UAE. Atherton further wrote that ECB’s own calendar as well as those hosting counties, which have already sold tickets would be in a fix with this request from the BCCI.

“At this late stage it is hard to see the ECB acceding to any potential change and it is expected to hold its ground,” he reported. “The fifth Test of the India series is due to be held at Emirates Old Trafford between September 10-14. Lancashire have already pre-sold three full days, and with a fair wind between now and then, would expect to sell the match out completely.

“Moving the game at this late stage to earlier in the season would create logistical headaches for Lancashire, the ECB and the England team, not to say those spectators who have spent money and planned to attend,” he reasoned in his article.

The move could also affect ECB’s ambitious ‘Hundred’ format along with England’s international commitments including the white ball series against Pakistan before the India Tests. The IPL was suspended earlier this month after multiple cases of COVID-19 inside the bio-bubble.

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