The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the itinerary for the home series against the West Indies amidst COVID-19 challenges. However, the Caribbean tour to England next month will be subject to clearance by the UK Government.
England though has already allowed to resume the Premier League action from June 17 behind the closed doors. But a nod to restart international cricket is still awaited.
The schedule announced by the ECB for the three-Test series will see the Caribbean team starting their tour from the Ageas Bowl at Southampton from July 8 to 12. The second Test is slated from July 16 to 20 at the Emirates Old Trafford with the same venue named to host the last match from July 24 to 28.
“We are in daily dialogue with Government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period. These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to UK Government approval,” ECB Director of Events Steve Elworthy said.
“We would like to thank Cricket West Indies for their co-operation and dedication in making this tour a reality, and we all look forward to the prospect of cricket returning in the coming weeks.”
The West Indies will arrive in England on June 9 and will be quarantined at the Old Trafford for three weeks before they move to the Ageas Bowl for the first Test.
Elworthy further added that safety of the players, media, officials and other stakeholders is paramount. “”Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media.”
To keep venues bio-secure, grounds will be split into an inner zone for players and officials and an outer zone for broadcasters, media and operational staff with no-one permitted to move between the two, states a report by Skysports.com.
Players will live on-site during games and be tested regularly for coronavirus, with designated areas for isolation of anyone presenting symptoms.