The Men in Blue’s return to cricketing action remains uncertain, but their female counterparts will travel to England for a tri-nation series — comprising the host and South Africa — in September.
Besides ensuring the squad’s safety in England during the pandemic in a series set to be conducted in a bio-bubble, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) will also face the dilemma of appointing selectors should the tour be finalised. The women’s selection panel is virtually non-existent for more than three months.
Sportstar understands that the discussions between the BCCI and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are “well on course”.
“As of now, unless the COVID-19 situation worsens, it’s only a matter of getting the government go-ahead,” said a BCCI insider privy to developments.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison had dropped hints about the series on a BBC podcast in June.
It is understood that the Indian team could depart around August 20. The series could start around September 10 after the players complete the mandatory isolation period.
Besides government clearance, the BCCI has to get its act together on the selectors’ front. All five members of the previous committee headed by Hemlata Kala have served their maximum tenure. They last met for the T20 World Cup selection in January.
On January 18, the BCCI had invited applications for the five vacant posts, along with two each in the senior and junior men’s selection committees. It has since filled up vacancies only in senior men’s panel.
Kala confirmed on Wednesday that she and her colleagues have been relieved of their duties, and now almost a dozen former India women internationals — who have applied for the job — are awaiting a response from the BCCI. “I have been in touch with others who had applied. None of us have heard anything from the BCCI since January 24, which was the deadline for submitting applications,” said a candidate, requesting anonymity.