September 17, 2021

England's tour of Bangladesh moved from September and October 2021 to March 2023

August 03, 2021

England's tour of Bangladesh, originally scheduled for September and October this year, has been moved to March 2023.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board came to the decision "mutually", according to the ECB.

The tour will still include three ODIs and three T20Is, as planned.

The rescheduling of the Bangladesh tour means England will have just two warm-up matches before the T20 World Cup begins in October - both against Pakistan, on October 14 and 15.

Before that, England play five Tests against India, with the first encounter at Trent Bridge beginning on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports.

Both England and Bangladesh were facing packed calendars and the necessity for teams to stay in restrictive bubbles or contained environments due to Covid has only increased the pressure on international tours.

There is, though, a secondary impact in relation to the Indian Premier League. The lucrative T20 tournament was halted earlier this year and will resume in the United Arab Emirates in September.

England's players were due to miss out on the competition due to the Bangladesh trip but are now more likely to feature for their franchises with a gap opening up.

The ECB will begin discussions around availability with its Indian counterparts, but - as it stands - the IPL play-off and final would still be out of bounds due to a clash with England's planned T20 series in Pakistan.

Root on Stokes: I just want my friend to be OK

England captain Joe Root admits the Test side is simply not the same without Ben Stokes but is more interested in his welfare as a friend rather than a match-winner.

Stokes has taken an indefinite break from the game to prioritise his mental health and fully recover from a finger injury.

The absence of his star all-rounder and vice-captain severely weakens Root's hand as he looks to get things back on track following defeats in each of England's last two Test series. But, for now, that is not the priority.

"From my point of view, I just want my friend to be OK," said Root.

"I had a conversation with Ben and that's when I found out. The call will stay between the two of us but for me it was hard to see a friend like that.

"Cricket has to be a secondary thought, a long way down the line and he should take as much time as he needs.

"He's got my full support on that, he's been assured he's got the full support of the ECB on that and, certainly, he's got the whole team's support.

"Anyone who knows Ben, he always puts other people in front of himself and now is an opportunity for him to put himself first, to take time to look after himself and get to a good place again.

"Hopefully that can be sooner rather than later."

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