England will host the West Indies for a three-match Test series behind closed-doors slated to begin from July 8 as cricket returns for the first time after Covid-19 pandemic had postponed all cricketing activities from March-end.
The matches will be held at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Lancashire’s Emirates Old Trafford. These two venues have been chosen as bio-secure venues.
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 ECB’s independent Host Venue Panel (HVP) recommended the use of two full matchday broadcast venues for the West Indies Test series. A decision on other scheduled matches for England Men and England Women this summer will be determined at a later date.
England vs West Indies three-match Test series schedule
First Test: 8-12 July at Ageas Bowl
Second Test: 16-20 July at Emirates Old Trafford
Third Test: 24-28 July at Emirates Old Trafford
“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,” ECB director of events, Steve Elworthy said in an official statement.
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.
“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,” Elworthy said.
All international cricket has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic and this would be the first international cricket series to be played since the suspension.
The ICC has already issued guidelines for safely resuming cricket and the body said that chartered flights should be used for travel for some period of time. The ICC also said that international teams should strongly consider travelling with a medical doctor.
Travelling teams should ensure necessary arrangements are in place to support a team member should they test positive while on tour.
The players and umpires have also been asked to maintain social distancing on the cricket field and that includes no handing over of player items (cap, towels, sunglasses, jumpers) to the umpire or teammates.