Mumbai, May 18: The England-bound India squad members will start their 14-day hard quarantine in Mumbai from Wednesday (May 19). The India cricketers will start the tour of England with the World Test Championship (WTC final) against New Zealand on June 18 at Southampton.
At the end of the 14-day quarantine in a Mumbai hotel, the team will fly out to England most likely on June 2. India players will further undergo a 10-day quarantine in Southampton. This leg of isolation will be done in the team hotel in the stadium premises.
However, unlike during the Mumbai quarantine, the players will be allowed to train in small batches inside the bio-secure bubble at the Ageas Bowl. The quarantine period will end on June 12. The England-bound India women players too will follow this quarantine protocol.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has arranged chartered flights to pick up players, coaches and support staff who stay outside Mumbai. The players who are living in Mumbai like skipper Virat Kohli, opener Rohit Sharma, middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane and head coach Ravi Shastri will join the bio-bubble inside the team hotel next week.
The players, both men and women, will have to undergo three Covid-19 tests prior to entering the bio-bubble in Mumbai and they will be tested further during the course of the quarantine and ahead of the departure to England. Such a strict measure has been put in place after two India players - wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and pacer Prasidh Krishna - were tested postitive during the IPL 2021. Both Saha and Prasidh are still recovering from the Coronavirus and will join the bubble at a later date.
The BCCI is also working closely with the British authorities on the inclusion of family members in the touring side. The UK Government had placed India on the red list after massive rise in Covid-19 cases in the country and had banned inbound travellers except their citizens.
After the WTC Final, India will play five Tests against England spanning between July and September.