UK Tour: Indian players pleased as punch as BCCI gets travel clearance for families

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) getting the clearance from the UK government for the families of the players and support staff to accompany them for the 3-month long England tour, the Indian contingent is pleased as punch.

While the families were already in quarantine with the players in Mumbai, the visas hadn’t been approved and the BCCI was working 24×7 to get the clearance from the UK government with assistance from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Speaking to ANI, sources in the team management said it was really thoughtful of the BCCI to go that extra mile to get permission for the families to accompany the players and support staff on such a long tour in the current COVID-19 scenario.

“We sometimes tend to take things for granted, but the team is not just happy, but also thankful to the BCCI for working overtime so that the families could travel with the contingent. As we are all aware, these are difficult times and keeping an eye on the protocol, it is important that the mental health of everyone involved on such a long tour is also taken care of.

“Unlike before, the players cannot just go out in the evenings after a long day in the field. This is where it is very important that the families are there to help the players switch off after play and not feel the heat. The BCCI has always had the interest of the players in mind and this time too the board stood like a rock to help get the necessary clearance from the UK government with assistance from the ECB,” the source said.

The Indian team will reach England on June 3 and the final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) between India and New Zealand will be staged in a bio-secure environment at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton from June 18 to 22. The event has now been granted an exemption by the UK government as outlined in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021, released on May 17.

“As per the bio-safety protocols established for the event, in line with UK government and Public Health England requirements, the Indian Men’s team will arrive in the UK on 3 June 2021 via a charter flight and carrying evidence of a negative PCR Test,” ICC said in an official release.

Upon landing, the Indian contingent will proceed directly to the on-site hotel at the Hampshire Bowl where they will be tested again before commencing a period of managed isolation. Regular tests will be conducted during the period of isolation. Players’ activity will be allowed in a gradually increasing manner after each round of negative testing, moving from exercise in isolation to small group and then larger squad activity, whilst always remaining within the bio-secure venue.

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