Dubai: It’s less than a week to go before international cricket takes its first giant leap towards resumption as the West Indies squad are scheduled to arrive in England on June 9 for a three-Test series scheduled in July.
Jason Holder & Co will be heading to Emirates Old Trafford straight for quarantining and training, the venue being their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test. The Ageas Bowl is scheduled to host the first Test while Old Trafford will stage the next two, subject to UK government’s clearance to return behind closed doors. Edgbaston, meanwhile, has been selected as a contingency venue.
There was, meanwhile, a jolt for the Caribbeans as three of their players - Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul have refused to tour England for the series.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in an official statement that it fully respects their decision and will not hold it against them when considering future selection. CWI announced the 14-member squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against England on Wednesday. The board has also announced a list of 11 revserves for the proposed tour.
Announcing an elborate safety and health protocol list along with the fixtures, Steve Elworthy, ECB Director of Events and in charge of 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.”
Ticket purchasers for the original England versus West Indies Test series will be entitled to a refund.
Earlier on Tuesday, the England board had reasons to cheer when they announced a record turnover of £228 million from the 2019-20 season to it’s members in a virtual AGM, an increase of £56 million from 2018, which included a men’s tour of India, when it reached a turnover of £172 million. It was also considerably higher than an average year which yields approximately £125 million turnover.
Commenting on the financial results, Scott Smith, Chief Financial Officer for the ECB, said: “The success of hosting the CWC19 and Men’s and Women’s Ashes on home soil saw us achieve record revenues for the game, and allowed us to distribute more funding across the game than ever before. With the impact of COVID-19 these results are somewhat bittersweet, but it is nonetheless extremely positive to know that with the right conditions, the game can continue to grow financial momentum for its stakeholders.’’
First Test: vs West Indies: July 8-12 at Ageas Bowl
Second Test: vs West Indies: July 16-20 at Emirates Old Trafford
Third Test: vs West Indies: July 24-28 at Emirates Old Trafford