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ECB in a catch-22 situation; Rejects news reports on official request from BCCI to advance Test series
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ECB in a catch-22 situation; Rejects news reports on official request from BCCI to advance Test series


New Delhi: As the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is searching for a window to complete this years Indian Premiere Leage(IPL) tournament which was dropped half way, a news report in on Thursday said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had approached ECB to advance the Test series by a week to provide September window for the IPL.

Rejecting such news, The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday clarified that it has not received any request from the Indian cricket board to advance the Test series so as to create a window for the completion of the postponed Indian Premier League (IPL).

Quoting an ECB spokesperson an IANS report said that ECB have not received any official request from BCCI to change dates. He also quoted as saying that ECB is continuing to plan for the five Test series as is scheduled.

According to sources, the Board has made an unofficial enquiry, a claim backed by a report in The Times newspaper.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) may not entertain any possible request from the Indian cricket board to advance the five-match Test series between Indian and England to ensure that all England stars will be available for its 100-ball tournament,The Hundred.

ECB has been caught in a catch-22 situation. While it doesn't want to spoil its relationship with the BCCI, it wants home Test stars like Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran among others to be available for The Hundred, a tournament that is being floated as a money-spinner.

The Hundred begins on July 21 while the Test series starts on August 4. The ECB, in its desperation to save the 100-ball tournament, wants the tournament which is already set to miss foreign stars from Australia, Pakistan and the West Indies as they will be busy with international commitments.

"Principally, any move would affect the small window in the international calendar the ECB has created for The Hundred, the new short-form competition staged mid-summer between the end of the one-day series against Pakistan and the start of the India Tests. It is hoped that England players will be available for the start of a competition long in gestation, which is expected to be further knocked by withdrawals from other overseas players in the coming weeks," former England captain Michael Atherton on Thursday wrote in The Times.

Another problem that has emerged is that tickets for the first three days of the fifth and final Test at Old Trafford, from September 10-14, have already been sold out. If the series is advanced, then it will create logistical headache.

"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," added Atherton.

India begin their Test series on August 4 and end the series on September 14.

The opening Test is in Trent Bridge from August 4-8. It will be followed by Tests at Lord's (August 12-16), Headingley (August 25-29), The Oval (September 2-6) and Old Trafford (September 10-14).

India are set to depart for England on June 2 in a charter flight. They begin the England tour with the World Test Championship final against New Zealand from June 18-22.

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