England vs WI to Be Cricket’s Comeback Series, ECB Announces Dates
England and West Indies will play a 3-match Test series starting 8 July.
England have announced the dates of the first cricket series post the covid lockdowns, with 3 Tests being played between the reigning World Champions and West Indies, starting 8 July.
The first Test is from 8-12 July at Ageas Bowl and then the next two will be played at the Emirates Old Trafford from 16-20 July and 24-28 July.
All matches will be played behind closed doors. However, there is still one caveat - the tour is on, ‘subject to UK Government clearance’.
According to the press note released by the ECB, the West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, travelling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. This will be their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.
The two venues for the series were selected because they are deemed to be bio-secure because of on-site hotels. The criteria for hotel selection comprised of:
- Biosecurity: Venue perimeter, access and access control; Hotel accommodation (onsite or nearby).
- Medical screening/testing provision: Designated areas for isolation of anyone presenting symptoms; Car parking requirements (approx. 200); Medical Screening and Testing sites (approx. 1500 m2).
- Footprint to enable social distancing: Extendable Players and Match Official areas; Extendable space for broadcast compounds, studios and written media.
- Venue/Cricket operations: The number and suitability of TV pitches; Provision for warm-up matches; Indoor and outdoor practice facilities.
"The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford will receive an administration fee for staging the Test series and all additional central costs will be met by the ECB," the statement detailed.
"The HVP also confirmed that Edgbaston was selected as a contingency venue and will be used to stage additional training throughout July."
ECB Director of Events, Steve Elworthy -- who is leading on English cricket's bio-secure operational plans -- added: "Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media.
"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.
"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."
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