The ECB and BCB have confirmed that England's white-ball tour of Bangladesh has been rescheduled
to March 2023. The tour, comprising both ODIs and T20Is, was originally slated to take place in September-October this year, ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman.
Both the ECB and BCB put out statements to the effect on Tuesday morning, saying it was "mutually decided" to reschedule the series. "The tour is planned to take place in the first two weeks of March 2023, with three ODIs and three T20Is due to take place in Dhaka and Chattogram," the statements said.
While the BCB has said that the proposal to reschedule the games had come from the ECB, sources within the England board told ESPNcricinfo on Monday that it was being postponed on the BCB's request, with Covid-19 protocols possibly playing a part in the decision. It may be relevant, however, that the decision will allow many of those involved to return to the IPL when it resumes in the UAE on September 19
. The IPL was postponed after 29 matches earlier this year following a spike in Covid-19 cases within many teams' bio-bubbles.
The ECB is set to allow their players to take part in the remainder of the tournament, having said that it will provide ideal preparation for the T20 World Cup, which will be staged in the same part of the world a few weeks later.
The players not involved in the IPL, meanwhile, will get a chance to rest before England embark on a packed winter touring schedule that includes the T20 World Cup, which begins on October 17, and the Ashes in Australia. England are also scheduled to tour Pakistan for two T20Is on October 14 and 15 as part of their preparations for the T20 World Cup. The PCB and ECB are currently confident this tour will go ahead.
The ECB has also indicated that it will complete England's aborted limited-overs tour of South Africa at some stage.
The discussion then had been around rejigging the schedule of the upcoming home Test series against India, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The question was whether the dates for the Test series could change to enable a larger window for the IPL. The fifth day of the final Test of the series is September 14, with England originally having been scheduled to leave for Bangladesh less than a week after that. The IPL, meanwhile, will resume on September 19 and run until October 15.
The England cricketers expected to link up with their IPL squads are Moeen Ali and Sam Curran (Chennai Super Kings), Sam Billings, Tom Curran, and Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders), Chris Jordan and Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings), Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals), and Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy (Sunrisers Hyderabad). The Royals also had Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, and Liam Livingstone in their ranks to start with, but all of them were withdrawn for one reason or another during the first leg in April-May. Shakib Al Hasan (Knight Riders) and Mustafizur Rahman (Royals) are the only Bangladeshis in the IPL.
As for Bangladesh, they will begin a five-match T20I series at home against Australia - the first bilateral T20I series between the two sides - today and are also expected to host New Zealand before the T20 World Cup.