TOI has learnt that the players will be in and around London to spend the break after they lost the World Test Championship final in Southampton on Wednesday. It is also learnt that the eight players who were not part of the 15-man squad for the WTC final had dispersed from Southampton once the match got underway last week.
According to the existing plan, the Indian contingent will play two intra-squad games at the Riverside Ground in Durham before they travel to Nottingham for the first Test a week before the match.
TOI understands the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is reluctant to deviate from the plans of not giving any first-class games to Indian team.
“The itinerary was made keeping the Covid protocols in place. It’s difficult to get County teams in the same bubble as the Indian team. The ECB is very careful about the safety of the players. The Indian team bubble will be made in Durham,” a BCCI source told TOI.
It also needs to be taken into account that the ECB will have a flourishing County championships along side the T20 Vitality Blast and the inaugural season of ‘The Hundred’ during July. The ECB would want all its resources in place at the same time.