ICC WTC Final: BCCI instructs players to enter bio-bubble by May 19 in Mumbai

ICC WTC Final: India vs New Zealand in Southampton from June 18.
ICC WTC Final: India vs New Zealand in Southampton from June 18.

ICC WTC Final, India vs New Zealand: The Board of Control for Cricket in India has asked Virat Kohli and boys bound to England for the inaugural World Test Championship against New Zealand to enter the bio-bubble by May 19. The eight-day bubble will be set up in Mumbai, following which the Indian team will leave for Southampton for the showcase event from June 18. “We have been asked to arrive in Mumbai by May 19 and enter the bio-bubble. It’s still tentative and we will get final confirmation soon,” a player who is part of the squad told InsideSport.

According to a BCCI official, the bio-bubble is being set up in India to avoid hard quarantine in the United Kingdom.

“There are a lot of players who have been in bubbles and quarantines for eight-nine months now. It is likely to take a toll on them mentally. They are fine with getting into a bubble early in India and then the BCCI may offer a bubble-to-bubble movement scenario. But the negotiation will be tougher this time since the team will be leaving from India unlike from Dubai when they toured Australia,” the source had told TOI.

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India is currently red-listed by the UK government due to the Covid-19 situation in the country. Any foreigner who enters UK borders will have to go through 14-days isolation.

BCCI is currently in talks with England and Wales Cricket Board to reduce the two-week quarantine. With players under bio-bubble in India, BCCI wants the quarantine to be reduced to seven days in the UK.

ICC WTC Final, Ind vs NZ: India picks 20-member squad

India has picked a 24-men squad — 20 main teams and 4 standbys — for the long season in the UK which would end on September 14 after the five-Test series against England.

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Wriddhiman Saha, KL Rahul and Prasidh Krishna have also been picked despite not being completely fit. The trio is running against the time to be available for selection. While Rahul underwent appendicitis surgery, Saha and Krishna tested positive for Covid-19 As per the BCCI statement their selection be subject to fitness clearance.

Team India’s Squad for WTC Finals & 5 Match Test Series vs England

India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper)  R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).

Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla

Team India’s first stop will be in Southampton where they play New Zealand to decide the first champion of the Test format. Following their 3-1 win against England at home, India finished as the No. 1 side with 72.2 percentage points and booked their place in the final.