No families allowed, BCCI to pick 32-member team for Australia tour

Written by Vishwas Gupta

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to announce the Indian squad for the forthcoming tour of Australia but it is going to be a jumbo squad, with as many as 32 players being selected for an all-format series.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic is still rampant, the BCCI is looking to play safe and name a grand squad for the tour. With as many as 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 4 Tests to be played, keeping in mind injuries and the threat of coronavirus, the Indian board will announce a jumbo squad for the series.

With the tour set to last for about 2 months, the prospects of calling someone from outside the bio-bubble mid-way could pose complications to the other squad members. Hence, the board wants to be able to find a solution internally rather than calling someone all the way from India.

“They (selection committee) have been told to pick as large a squad as they want. We want back-up players ready and in Australia right through the tour. If a player gets injured, there shouldn’t be a situation where we have to call for a player from India,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

With such a big squad, the board will have several players to organise intra-team practice matches. The overall strength of the travelling contingent is likely to cross 50, including the support staff.

“Cricket Australia has sent us an itinerary. We will play three T20Is, three ODIs, and four Tests there. The first Test will be a day-night game in Adelaide. The dates haven’t been finalised yet,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said earlier this week.

With the limited-overs series taking place before the white-ball assignment, the players who will not be a part of the Test series will be sent home early.

A few practice games for non-IPL players like Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, etc. are likely to be organised by the BCCI in UAE itself before the players are flown Down Under.

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Vishwas Gupta