‘Testing’ Times Ahead for Indian Cricketers: Today marks the start of the Indian cricket expedition to England this summer, with the arrival of a chartered flight from Mumbai bringing in the Indian men's team, the women's team, and close relatives. All team members have been inoculated, isolated and tested duly, with tests again on arrival. They will be tested every day through a period in their “bio-bubble” as it is called. But with just two weeks to go before that biggest of all Tests, the players will want to get cracking. The Indian team's first day in England was also the second day New Zealand were playing their Test match against England. New Zealand did rather well on day one, a firm signal that they will not be easy opponents against India.
Old Tweets Haunt Ollie: It turned out to be quite a debut for England fast bowler Ollie Robinson against New Zealand, and not because he took two wickets. Some well-wisher no doubt picked that very day to publicise racist and sexist tweets he had put out eight years earlier. One said "my new Muslim friend is the bomb", and another that "females who play video games actually tend to have more sex than the girls who don't". Once he discovered at the end of the day's play what he was being better known for, he apologised. "I deeply regret my actions and I'm ashamed of making such remarks," he said. Since then, he said, he had "matured as a person".
India and New Zealand May Have to Share Glory: A question over the World Test Championship (WTC) match between India and New Zealand that had been at the back of everyone's mind has now been settled. What if the match ends in a draw? Such an outcome is, of course, not really possible in the shorter matches. But it has been decided that in such an event India and New Zealand will share honours. The cricket season ahead is tightly packed, and the logistics of organising another one, or even two matches is not available. But a Reserve Day has been set aside if bad light or rain were to delay play during the five-day Test from June 19-22.
Rishi Sunak Justifies Greensill Move: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (as the finance minister of Britain is called) Rishi Sunak has told a parliamentary probe that he had acted properly while considering a request to support the firm Greensill presented to him by former prime minister David Cameron. Cameron is facing a parliamentary inquiry over allegations that he favoured Greensill when he was prime minister, and then sought to use his connections with Rishi Sunak after he quit office. The inquiry is considering issues of conflict of interest over these interventions. Sunak has clarified that it was right to forward that request to be dealt with on merit. Cameron's proposal was ultimately not taken forward.
Delta Worries Estonia: With all of two cases reported, little Estonia is worrying now about the Delta strain of the coronavirus that was first identified in India. Mari-Anne Harma, deputy director-general of the Health Board, told a press conference that the variant may replace the British strain over the coming months. The cases reported in Estonia, which has a population of 1.3 million, were reported to have been brought in by travellers. Not many Indians travel to Estonia, but the surfacing of the cases there offers further evidence of how fraught with risk travel still is, and that all cases are not now travel-related, even though cases are currently coming down across Europe.