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Covid brings Indian men’s and women’s cricketers together

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Archie Little

Ground Report | New Delhi: While the Covid-19 pandemic has created distancing (social) among people, it also brought the Indian men’s and women’s cricketers together. In what could possibly be the first instance of its kind, the India men and women’s cricket teams are set to travel together to England on a charter flight on June 2 for their respective series.

While the Indian men’s team will play six Test matches — the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand from June 18 and five Tests against England from August 4 — their women’s counterparts will play a one-off Test in mid-June, three ODIs and three T20Is.

Given the pandemic situation prevailing in India, the board are not going to take any risk of sending the players on commercial flights. As both the series are almost timed together, it provided the board an opportunity to make their travel arrangement together.

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Members of the two teams will first assemble in Mumbai for a two-week quarantine before flying off to UK.

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The teams will again have to undergo a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in England.

The BCCI has also arranged charter flights from three cities for the players in the England-bound squad to reach Mumbai.

The charter flights will pick players from Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. “The players who want to avail the charter flights will have to reach their nearest airports by car. Players from small towns have requested the board that they will be happy to travel to Mumbai in commercial flights if they are given business class tickets,” a board official said.

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The players have to get negative RT-PCR results before they enter the bubble in Mumbai. The board has arranged for the tests through a central agency. Players in small towns have been advised to get the tests done on their own and the board will reimburse. The testing will continue to happen during the hotel quarantine in Mumbai before leaving for England.

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