The Board of Control for Cricket in India has reportedly requested England and Wales Cricket Board to advance the schedule of the five-Test series to open up a window to complete the remaining 31 matches of the pandemic-suspended Indian Premier League.

While the development has not been officially confirmed, former England captain Michael Atherton has reported about the development in The Times.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India has enquired about the possibility of moving the final Test of the English summer in order to make room to complete the postponed Indian Premier League,” he wrote in the report.

However, a report by PTI on Friday said that BCCI has not made any official request to alter the schedule for India’s series.

“We talk to the BCCI on a regular basis about a wide range of issues especially as we address the challenges of Covid-19 but have had no official request to change dates and are continuing to plan for the five Test series as scheduled,” an ECB spokesperson told PTI when asked about the possible change in the schedule.

ESPNCricinfo also reported that the ECB said no official request had yet been made by the BCCI.

The Indian men’s team is looking at a potential gap of six weeks after the completion of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand which is scheduled from June 18-22 in Southampton and start of the England series.

The five-Test series starts with first match at Nottingham (Aug-4-8), followed by Lord’s (Aug 12-16), Leeds (Aug 25-29), Oval (Sep 2-6) and Manchester (Sep 10-14).

However, a potential start in the last week of July, with lesser gaps between the Tests would open the entire month of September in which BCCI can complete the IPL either in UK or more likely in the UAE.

This move could also affect ECB’s inaugural The Hundred competition along with England’s international commitments including white ball series against Pakistan before the India Tests.

The IPL was suspended earlier this month after multiple cases of Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble. The BCCI stands to lose revenues to the tune of Rs 2500 crore if the 2021 edition is not completed.

With PTI Inputs