The Board of Control for Cricket in Indian (BCCI) is urging the England and Wales Cricket Board to organise two warm-up matches ahead of the five-match Test series between the hosts and the touring Indian side and according to media reports, it is the BCCI Secretary Jay Shah who is leading the negotiations.
In a conversation with The Indian Express, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said: “Jay (Shah) will be speaking to ECB and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Harrison to make an arrangement for two warm-up games before the five-Test match series. The secretary felt that the BCCI should request the ECB to give at least two warm-up games so that players can get in some good match practice before the series starts”, Dhumal told The Indian Express.View this post on Instagram
While the concept of warm-up matches before the actual series has always been helpful for the Men in Blue, the irony was in the fact that the BCCI did nothing to carry out even a single one of them ahead of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand which took place between 18th and 23rd June.
On one hand, the Black Caps were already in England for more than a month ahead of the final and even had themselves two Test matches against the hosts before taking on Virat Kohli’s men at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl cricket ground. On the other hand, the Indian cricket team had to fly to the UK, spend precious practice time in the quarantine, and had to play an intra-squad match as a means to warm up, which obviously wasn’t as effective as playing against another team.View this post on Instagram
Consequently, the WTC final turned out to be a completely one-sided affair in which Kane Williamson’s team rolled over our boys in a stunning Day 6 collapse of the Indian batting order. Despite an incredible record and a phenomenal journey to the final, the Men in Blue once again failed to impress in the knockout round.
As a result, the fans of the Indian cricket team were at their trolling best while essentially telling the Indian cricket board secretary that he was a little too late to organise warm-up sessions:
Awesome they will play 2 warm up matches so that they don't consider 1st match of the series as warmup match— Shivani (@meme_ki_diwani) June 25, 2021
Why not before WTC final?— Siddhant (@yadavsiddhant12) June 25, 2021
Ab pachhataye kya hot jab chidiya chug gai khet— Jay Ponkia (@PonkiaJay) June 25, 2021
Ab kya fayda h warm up matches ka WTC to nikal gya.— Vikram Singh Jatain (@vsj091) June 25, 2021
Too late. Our priority is IPL. Should have done the same before #WTCFinal2021— GUJJU🇮🇳 (@pankil18sbm) June 25, 2021
At the moment, Team India is in the middle of a 20-day break from cricket, and every team member is allowed to explore the UK however they wish to (while of course keeping the British COVID-19 rules and regulations in mind). They are expected to reunite in London on 14th July to resume practice for the red-ball series against Joe Root’s side.