The impact of the CODID-19 pandemic continues to be felt throughout England and the world. The latest news out of England comes on the heels of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announcing that cricket will remain shutdown until July 1st and could stretch beyond that depending on the stem of the virus in Britain. The board will meet on the 29th to determine how it will move forward for The Hundred, which is slated to start on the 17th of July.
Set to have started on the 12th of April, the domestic season was postponed until the 28th of May, but the England and Wales Cricket Board have now stated that will try to reschedule all international cricket matches between July and September. It also postponed the women’s limited-overs series which was slated to take place on the 25th of June against India.
Tom Harrison, chief executive of the ECB, stated: “As much as we remain hopeful that we can deliver some cricket this summer, we are in the midst of a worldwide crisis and our priority – over and above the playing of professional sport – will be to protect the vulnerable, key workers and society as a whole. That’s why simply put, there will be no cricket unless it’s safe to play. Our schedule will only go ahead if government guidance permits.”
The men’s team was scheduled to compete in three tests against the West Indies on the 4th of June and then head to Ireland, Pakistan and Australia. However, these have also been postponed, as were the women’s, who were to compete in India for two Twenty20 internationals and in July, four one-day internationals.
However, on Thursday after its board meeting, the ECB all limited-overs and domestic first-class cricket will be added to the new schedule. Cricket West Indies chief executive officer, Johnny Grave, said its squad only would head to England for the series in the event that its players can be assured they will be safe to do so while stating that they will be as flexible as possible without compromising the teams safety.
Closed Door Matches
There is the possibility said Tom Harrison to the BBC that country and international matches could be held without fans with officials and players staying in a “bio-secure” environment. Harrison added that the England and Wales Cricket Board is beginning to become comfortable with the fact that crowds will not be in attendance and planning of the matches is now focusing on what cricket may look like if that is the end result.