Viewers that subscribe to the BBC were shown a televised match of the Twenty20 Tournament for the first time in 21 years. The BBC haven’t supported this professional sport in more than two decades, which shocks young fans that aren’t aware of Britain’s violent past with cricket. Their last televised match occurred during a different time in England’s history, with that final broadcast shown during the 1999 Twenty20 Tournament. The BBC altering their mindset around this tournament is welcomed by supporters and has led us to question how cricket in Great Britain has changed over two decades.
Young fans in the Millennial, GenZ, and GenX Generations wouldn’t understand cricket in Great Britain after re-watching matches from the 1990s. It was an entirely different sport that saw batters ramping, scooping, and switch-hitting. All these components of professional cricket are banned today. It would’ve been challenging for these young supporters to believe that England’s National Cricket Team won the “Ashes World Cup Series”. However, those same components were in-play during the 90s & England dominated professional cricket.
Their domination over rival teams followed with the involvement of players like Zak Crawley, Ollie Pop, and Sam Curran. Their skillsets were legendary & failed during Great Britain’s most influential time in 1990s professional cricket. These three men were outpaced by the talents of Shane Warne & Alex Stewart from Australia, enabling the Australian National Cricket Team to garner victory of the 1999 Twenty20 Tournament.
England’s accomplishments in professional cricket during the 90s won’t be forgotten. Teams from Manchester City were promoted from the 3rd tier of this sport to the 1st and garnered notable wins. This rollercoaster ride throughout the 1990s led most supporters to believe that England’s victory over the 1999 Twenty20 Tournament was inevitable. Their exit from the championship offset popularity of this sport for a prolonged period and wouldn’t reach its former heights into the involvement of Ben Stokes.
The England National Cricket Team has become a dominating force throughout the 2010s & 2020s, showing that their presence in this sport might dwindle but always return with ferocity. Even though England has returned to providence in professional cricket, older supporters won’t ever forget the excitement that 1990s cricket garnered.
The Australian National Cricket Team have officially departed for Great Britain & Scotland, competing against England in Limited-Overs Tour that comprises of six matches. It marks the 1st instance of an Australian sporting club travelling overseas amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Aussie Bowlers will remain in the United Kingdom for two weeks, competing in the Limited-Overs Tour & Twenty20s Tournament. Special requirements are being enforced to guarantee that cricketers with Australia don’t contract COVID-19.
Australian borders have been shut down since the World Health Organization reclassified the COVID-19 Epidemic as an international pandemic. Those wanting to travel overseas weren’t permitted that right unless extraordinary circumstances applied. The Australian Government noted that one in four travelling applications are approved weekly, with approvals often granted for those requiring special medical care. Permits to travel during COVID-19 have also been given to international criminals & illegal aliens that need immediate extradition.
The Board of Directors at Cricket Australia requested that their medical advisors create a series of “Bio-Secure Coronavirus Protocols”. Details on those measures were made available for public knowledge & enforce that coronavirus protocols will be stricter than England’s. The England Cricket Board hardly imposed COVID-19 standards when competing against Pakistan, and the West Indies. Cricket Australia couldn’t risk the safety of Aussie Bowlers & prompted the inclusion of new measures.
The Demands and Requests of Cricket Australia
Protocols list that team personnel showing symptoms related to COVID-19 will immediately be segregated into another sector of a Southampton Hotel. Medical advisors would then give tests for Cricket Australia, with these individuals wearing “CDC Infectious Suits” to guarantee their protection. All individuals that had contact with that respective individual will also be forced into segregation. Under these terms, it wouldn’t take long for Cricket Australia to withdraw from contention against England. An outbreak of COVID-19 with Aussie Bowlers would be needed to enforce a withdraw strategy.
Cricket Australia is requesting that British personnel at the Limited-Overs & Twenty20s wear face coverings, but not demanded as these individuals aren’t under Cricket Australia’s employment. Media personnel were informed that they’d be requested to wear face coverings, social distance, and hand sanitizer. Unwillingness to comply would prompt cancellation on their interviews & an escorting from the facilities.
The England Cricket Board announced the upcoming dates for their postponed series against Australia, which is sustaining the Limited-Overs format. It was initially expected that England would host the Australian Cricket Team in July 2020, which inevitably entered into postponement status against the COVID-19 Lockdowns. The England versus Australia Limited-Overs will begin in Mid September.
The Australian Government permitted their cricketers to travel under special exemptions, with their international flight slated to enforce severe COVID-19 Protocols upon the team’s arrival & departure to England. This will ensure that none of their bowlers has contracted the virus before entering or leaving Great Britain. Australian’s Cricket Team having an outbreak & bringing it back to their home shores is what the Government is actively looking to avoid. It should be mentioned that before the England versus Australia Limited-Overs, the T20s in Great Britain will unfold.
The T20s are unfolding between September 6th to 8th. Australia’s meetup with England will follow on September 11th, 13th, and 16th. It’s not expected that Australia’s Cricket Team will return home until September 18th, with their arrival scheduled for September 4th. This marks a two-week period in the United Kingdom. Players cannot traverse the country for tourism purposes, having to remain locked down in their respective hotel rooms when not competing. Meals will be cooked by COVID-19 Tested Chefs, with drivers to & from the Old Trafford Stadium will also be tested.
Tom Harrison’s Statements
The EBC Chief Executive Officer released a formal statement of gratitude towards the Australian Government. Tom Harrison mentioned the significant debt owned towards Administrators & Staff with Cricket Australia; who’s direct efforts allowed for their upcoming competition to obtain approval. ECBs Tom Harrison also thanks to the Australian Government for permitting travel exemptions, knowing fully what was required to make this goal achievable. Harrison ended his sentiments by remarking excitement for the upcoming Limited-Overs, hoping his home-team will be victorious. This marks the 2nd international meetup for the England National Cricket Team, who recently competed against the West Indies & Ireland. They’re currently fighting against India, with Australia slated to be their next opponent.
The England & Pakistan Cricket Test Series has lost its most influential player over the weekend of August 7th. It was confirmed that England’s Team Captain wouldn’t attend the remainder of this Test Series, with Ben Stokes exiting extending towards the rest of 2020s summer season. Important details regarding the reasoning for Ben Stokes “Leave of Absence” wasn’t clarified by England’s National Cricket Team. It’s merely known that Stokes is returning to New Zealand to spend time with his family. His father has spent the last nine months battling an unexpected & severe illness. Speculation from Cricket analysts suggests that Ged Stokes could be taking a turn for the worse.
Social media responses to this confirmation of Ben Stokes exiting from the Test Series wasn’t positive. Fans pleaded with their Captain to disregard his family issues & focus on Cricket. Their sentiments of desire for his return follow after Ben Stokes maintained many wickets on August 8th. Team Captain Stokes informed his players after the August 8th test series match-up that he’d be leaving for the remainder of this summer. This means that Stokes is going the “England Cricket Bio-Secure Bubble” and wouldn’t be permitted to compete again until maintaining a 14-Day Quarantine Period. Ben Stokes will now fly towards Christchurch in New Zealand on August 9th.
Lack of Sympathy from Supporters
Analysts issued disgust towards Cricket supporters after seeing social media responses. Ged Stokes is a former Rugby Player with New Zealand that prompted multiple victories for his national team. It’s unknown what serious illness that Ged Stokes has contracted, but his health doesn’t be disregarded in comparison to Ben competing. Ben Stokes hasn’t issued a formal statement on the disrespectful comments. However, it should be mentioned that for every negative sentiment on social media, positive comments were expressing their prayers to the Stokes family.
This isn’t the 1st time that Ben Stokes has left his position as Captain to stand beside his father during a trialling period. An example would be the England & Proteas Cricket Series in 2019, which Stokes would play a single game. Ben disregards responsibilities to his teammates whenever family are facing trialling circumstances, an understandable aspect that makes England’s Cricket Captain that much more honourable. Regardless, there’ll be a notable void in the National Team going forward.
England’s National Cricket Team had one of its star athletes confirm that he’d considered retiring in June 2020. This cricketer was Stuart Broad, who contemplated retirement after England determined his skillsets weren’t required for the 1st Match in the West Indies Series. They’d instead selected Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, and James Anderson for the position of Bowler.
That decision would prove unfavourable for England’s National Cricket Team, who lost to the West Indies by Four Wickets. This would’ve likely been avoided with the selection of Stuart Broad, who maintains one of the highest records for Wickets in 2019-20. Coaching personnel would elect Stuart Broad for the remaining two matches in the West Indies Test Series. They’d win back-to-back games, maintaining overall victory over the Test Series. Most cricket analysts evoke that this wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of Stuart Broad.
Entering into retirement would’ve dismantled the England National Cricket Team, leaving them clamouring for another Bowler that could contend with the skillsets shown by Stuart Broad. When Stuart confirmed that retirement was 100% considered multiple times with certain events throughout his career, he’d remark that it’s never reached a level of discussion with proper forces. It’s always been something kept privately with Stuart Broad until his August 1st confirmation.
Ben Stokes, the Captain for England’s National Cricket Team, was the individual selected to inform Stuart Broad of that he’d not be competing. Coaching staff determined that his skillsets weren’t more important than the Bio-Bubble. Both Stokes & Broad would explicitly mention that when the news arrived, Stuart Broad was left shaking in his place. He was shocked when considering that his record wickets are 2nd highest on the team.
Rifts with Coaching Staff
Analysts speculate that since new coaching personnel were employed with the England National Cricket Team, Stuart Broad has struggled to adhere behind the new leadership & often rifted with these men on what strategies are required to defeat opposing forces. Stuart was often publicly discussed & news regarding his future is rarely brought-up amongst coaching personnel. Burning bridges with Stuart Broad will prove destructive for England’s National Cricket Team, with his talents being a driving force behind their international success.