Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan are expected to depart India on Thursday, completing the return of all 11 England players at the Indian Premier League after the tournament’s Covid-related collapse on Tuesday.
An initial contingent of eight England players landed in the UK on Wednesday morning, with Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Jason Roy, Sam Billings and Sam and Tom Curran then moving to government-approved hotels to begin a 10-day quarantine mandated by India’s status as a “red list” country.
Morgan and Malan are expected to follow on Thursday, while Jordan is understood to be travelling to Barbados for a short break. All 11 spent two months in India, having initially been part of England’s white-ball tour, and their swift exits sit in contrast to the 38 Australian players and coaches who are barred from returning home.
The IPL’s indefinite suspension, which follows a number of positive Covid-19 cases among the franchises and the worsening national situation in India, could have a knock-on effect for the global calendar. There is talk of a possible resumption in September that would clash with England’s scheduled tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan.
While that scenario could pit country against the IPL franchises leading up to the T20 World Cup in mid-October – scheduled for India but with the United Arab Emirates on standby to host – in the short term England should benefit from the tournament’s current pause.
Chris Silverwood, now head coach and sole selector, was struggling to balance the Test side for the two-match series against New Zealand from 2 June, with Ben Stokes out with a broken finger and Woakes and Sam Curran, his fellow all-rounders, originally unlikely to feature because of their IPL commitments.
The pair will now enter Silverwood’s thoughts if selected for the round of County Championship fixtures that begin on 20 May, as will Buttler in a blow to the prospects of Ben Foakes making a home debut behind the stumps. Jofra Archer has also stepped up his return from an elbow injury, bowling for Sussex 2nd XI on Wednesday.
New Zealand will similarly be boosted by the expected availability of Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult and Mitch Santner once they have secured flights to the UK and completed their 10-day quarantine period.