India could host their upcoming Test series against England in the UAE after the BCCI signed a new agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board.
England were due to tour India for limited-overs matches in October before returning for a five-match Test series in January 2021.
However, after the first leg was postponed due to the global health crisis, the tours are set to be combined into one.
India is second only to the USA in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases and as a result, moving the matches to outside of the country has been on the cards for some time.
The signing of an agreement to ‘boost the cricketing ties’ between the BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board this weekend, suggests that the UAE are in pole position to host.
Pakistan hope to host a number of series on home soil over the coming years but they have played the vast majority of their ‘home’ international matches in the UAE since the attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore in 2009.
During that timeframe, England travelled to the UAE twice for Test series’, losing five of their six matches and drawing the other.
The stadia in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi became fortresses for the Green Shirts, with the oppressive heat and spin-friendly pitches working against the visitors.
Several England players who are likely to feature in the winter series’ against India are currently in the UAE for the thirteenth edition of the IPL, which began on Saturday.
22-year-old Sam Curran was the only one involved on the opening day, but he took the important wicket of Quinton de Kock and smashed 18 off six balls to help Chennai Super Kings to a five-wicket victory over reigning champions Mumbai Indians.
If England are to face India in white-ball and Test cricket in the UAE this winter, they could do with all of their stars playing a big role for their respective franchises over the next month, giving them time to become accustomed to the conditions.