ECB announces proposed dates for ‘bio-secure’ West Indies series

The series will be played behind close doors in a bio-secure environment

england-cricket [File] The series will mark the resumption of international cricket after the COVID-19 pandemic brought sporting activities to a halt | AP

England and Wales Cricket Board on Tuesday announced the schedule of the three-match home Test series against the West Indies in July, subject to government clearance.

The series will be played behind close doors in a bio-secure environment and mark the resumption of international cricket after COVID-19 pandemic brought to a halt to the international calendar.

The contest starting July 8 will be held at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Lancashire’s Old Trafford as both these venues have on-site hotels.

The first Test will be held from July 8-12 while the remaining two at Old Trafford (July 16-20 and July 24-28).

“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,” said the ECB in a statement.

The ECB events director Steve Elworthy, who is leading on English cricket’s bio-secure operational plans, said the dates are subject to government approval.

“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,” he said.

The venue selection criteria included medical screening/testing provision and on-site accommodation.

“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 HVP also confirmed that Edgbaston was selected as a contingency venue and will be used to stage additional training throughout July,” the ECB statement read.

The home series against Pakistan is scheduled after the tour by West Indies.

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