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Indian players in Sri Lanka could fly to England as injury replacements

In the wake of Washington Sundar’s finger injury worsening, it is believed that the BCCI are reportedly pondering the option to fly players currently in Sri Lanka to the UK, post the conclusion of the three T20Is. Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan and Sundar are all set to miss the England tour.

Since the fag end of 2020, team India have had rotten luck when it comes to injuries, the peak of which was in the tour of Australia, where the side were forced to hand out caps to individuals who were with the camp as net bowlers. With 10 days to go for the five-Test series against England, India are not in the midst of a full-blown crisis, yet, but the visitors have already been dealt with scathing injury blows.

Opener Shubman Gill has flown back to India with a leg injury, while stand-by bowler Avesh Khan is also set to fly back home after dislocating his thumb. Washington Sundar is also believed to be heading back home after experiencing pain in his finger, while the likes of Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran are in isolation after being identified as close Covid contacts.

With the month-long series set to begin in 10 days, there is a dire need for India to reinforce the squad, and reports have now emerged claiming that personnel currently in Sri Lanka could be flown to England. India’s white-ball series concludes on July 29, and a TOI report has claimed that the senior side could ask individuals to fly to the UK as back-ups. There is, however, said to be logistical complications associated with the move, owing to Sri Lanka being marked as a ‘Red zone’.

“We will see if replacements are needed to be sent to England immediately,” a senior BCCI official told TOI on Thursday.

“There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. Travel restrictions is one such thing. If players are indeed sent then it will be from the batch that is in Sri Lanka at the moment. Sri Lanka is also on the ‘Red List’ for the UK government.

“The board is figuring out logistical challenges before taking a call. Bubble-to-bubble transfer isn’t possible. Selectors will decide how many players are needed to be sent if need arises. If Sri Lanka is moved to the ‘Amber List next week, then things will get easier,” the official added.

According to an Indian Express report, meanwhile, the management have decided to send Sundar back home in order to ensure that he’s fit in time for the WT20. Sundar is believed to have complained about finger pain since the World Test Championship final, and the management are reportedly keen to tread cautiously to ensure that he does not aggravate his injury, given that he is one of the vital figures in the T20I setup. As things stand, the all-rounder’s IPL participation is in doubt.

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