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Men's First Class tour matches cancelled

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.

Following further discussions with the boards of New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan it has also 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.

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.

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.

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. 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.”

Somerset CCC CEO, Gordon Hollins said: “Obviously we are disappointed that we will not be playing host to one of the best international test teams in the world. To be hosting such a prestigious fixture would have been a real feather in our cap and would have been a real spectacle for our Members and supporters.

“However, we fully understand and support why this decision has been taken and, whilst it would have been great for our Members to see New Zealand in Taunton this summer, the health and wellbeing of the visiting teams must remain the priority.

“There is now a light at the end of the tunnel with regards to Covid-19 and hopefully we will see Somerset taking to the field against international opposition in the not-too-distant future.”

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