India A's tour of England postponed

India A's tour of England this summer has been postponed and the senior team will now have an integrated jumbo squad for the five-match Test series in England later this year.

BCCI logo

The ECB and BCCI have agreed to postpone this summer's men's India A tour. (REPRESENTATIVE PICTURE)   -  Getty Images

India A's tour of England this summer has been postponed and the senior team will now have an integrated jumbo squad for the five-match Test series in England later this year, the ECB and the BCCI agreed on Tuesday.

The senior team, which is to play five Tests against England in August-September, will now have only two intra-squad practice games instead of the first-class fixture between India senior and India A teams planned earlier.

READ: BCCI invites applications for India women's team head coach job

It is believed that the decision has been taken to ensure the safest possible environment for a high quality international series in times of COVID-19.

"The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have agreed to postpone this summer's men's India A tour," ECB said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The India Men's team will instead tour with a larger squad to prepare for, and use during, the five-match LV= Insurance Test Series." "India's warm-up schedule will now comprise two intra-squad four-day matches, which will replace the two previously planned four-day fixtures between India Men and India A in July. Venues for those two intra-squad matches are to be confirmed." This means that a squad of 30 will be mixed and matched for the practice games.

The ECB also stated that following further discussions with the boards of New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, it has been agreed to cancel their scheduled men's tour matches against first-class counties.

New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan's men's teams will instead play intra-squad matches to allow them suitable preparation for their international fixtures this summer.

READ: England vs India Women's Test match to start on June 16

These agreements will allow the ECB to focus on delivering the safest possible environment for all international cricket matches scheduled to take place over the summer.

ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: "We are looking forward to staging a memorable summer of men's and women's international cricket when fans are set to return to venues.

"Ensuring the safest possible environment for international cricket is our first priority and we are appreciative for the understanding of our fellow boards.

"We look forward to welcoming a men’s India A tour at a later date after this summer and when restrictions have eased. It will provide a valuable opportunity for players from both countries to experience high-quality cricket and to showcase the talent within our England Lions team and first-class counties."