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India Test cricketers might leave earlier than expected to England for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, scheduled to get underway from June 18 in Southampton. India were expected to leave for the UK in the first week of June but they might travel as early as the last week of May amid travel restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

India and New Zealand players, who featured in IPL 2021, were expected to take a chartered plane from the country to the UK after the completion of the T20 league. However, the IPL was postponed indefinitely after positive Covid-19 cases were reported in the bio-bubbles of multiple franchises.

The International Cricket Council, Sports Today understands, is in talks with the UK government and the England and Wales Cricket Board to make sure India cricketers travel to the UK. The British government put India on a travel 'red list' banning the entry of Indian nationals from April 23. Even British and Irish nationals, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from India will be required to quarantine in a hotel.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to be asked to submit a list of the Indian entourage, which includes the players, support staff and officials, for the World Test Championship final and the subsequent Test series vs England. India take on England in a 5-Test series from August 4.

The two cricket boards are likely to consult with the British government to work out quarantine regulations. While a 14-day mandatory quarantine period is necessary, it remains to be seen if India players will be allowed to train during that period. Notably, the likes of West Indies and Pakistan trained during the quarantine period after returning negative reports in the mandatory Covid-19 tests upon their arrival in the UK.
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Which cricket team will win the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) to be played at Southampton, England from June 18?

India
New Zealand
Can't Say