ICC confident India can tour England despite being on COVID 'red list'

(Reuters) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) is confident the Indian team will be allowed to travel to England this summer despite the country's addition to Britain's 'red list' of locations from which most travel is banned due to a high number of COVID-19 cases.

British health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday most people who have travelled to India in the last 10 days will be banned from entering the UK from Friday.

British or Irish residents, or those with residency rights within the UK, will be allowed in but must quarantine in a hotel at their own cost for 10 days.

India are scheduled to play in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June and a five-test series against England starting in August.

"We are currently discussing with the UK Government the impact of countries being on the 'red list'," the ICC said in a statement.

"The ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) and other members have demonstrated how we can stage international cricket safely in the middle of a pandemic and we are confident that we can continue to do that and that the World Test Championship Final will go ahead as planned in June in the UK."

Pakistan, which is also on UK's red list, are also scheduled to tour England to play one-day international and Twenty20 series starting July.

England were able to fulfil their entire home schedule in 2020, hosting matches against West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia as all players followed strict bio-secure protocols, including extended quarantine periods.

"By working collaboratively, we demonstrated how we can stage international cricket safely in the middle of a pandemic and hope to be able to do so again this year," an ECB spokesperson said.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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