London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that no professional cricket will take place in England and Wales till May 28 in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The ECB said that it has begun modelling a range of options to start the season in June, July or August - with an immediate focus on options for cricket in June, including the three-Test series against West Indies, the T20 Blast and England women’s schedule against India.
That, however, seems unlikely given the UK government’s assessment that the peak of the pandemic, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives across the world, will only occur in the country in June.
ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “The decision to delay the start of the season has been essential, given the circumstances the nation faces.”
“With the information available to us at the moment a delay to the start of the professional cricket season until May 28 was unavoidable.
“Securing the future of the game will be a primary focus as we plot a revised schedule with an emphasis on the most financially important forms of the game for the counties across international and domestic cricket,” he added.
As such, international cricket, The Hundred and T20 Blast will be prioritised when the season does get underway this summer.
On Friday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered that all cafes, pubs and restaurants to close from Friday night, except for take-away food, to tackle coronavirus. There have been over 160 deaths in England from the coronavirus outbreak.