The fifth and final Test between England and India in Manchester was called off amid growing COVID concerns in the visitors’ camp. Recent reports had also emerged as to how the England team is unhappy with the Test not being played and were contemplating pulling out of the second half of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled to begin on September 19 in the UAE.
According to the latest reports in English media, it seems Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, and Chris Woakes are opting not to play the T20 tournament. While Malan plays for Punjab Kings, Bairstow and Woakes play for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Delhi Capitals respectively. Punjab Kings were quick to name South African star batsman Aiden Markram as Malan’s replacement.
From the Test team that played against India, only Moeen Ali is likely to board the UAE flight and represent Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL. His colleague in CSK Sam Curran’s status is not known, but Ali looks a certainty to turn out for the franchise in Yellow in the UAE leg of IPL.
After the completion of the IPL, the England team will play the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to begin on October 17. While few white-ball specialists will return to their country, the players who are also in the Test team are due to depart for the Ashes series Down Under. Woakes, Jos Buttler, Malan, Moeen, and Bairstow are also part of the red-ball format.
Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley expects full capacity crowds
The Ashes 2021-22 is scheduled to begin from December 8. Already it has managed to grab headlines due to the Australian government’s strict COVID-19 regulations and norms. Initially, Cricket Australia (CA) was reluctant to let in the families of the English players, but later Nick Hockley (CA) chief executive, worked out a plan with the government officials and has assured to find a way out.
He also expects full capacity crowds during all the five Tests amidst raising concerns of COVID-19 in few big cities like Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.