In a huge boost to the three-match Test series between England and West Indies, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed there have been no positive coronavirus tests among the England and West Indies players.
The much-anticipated series will resume international cricket since the coronavirus pandemic halted the game around the world. The ODI between Australia and New Zealand on June 13 was the last international game. The three-match Test series between the two sides will begin on 8 July at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
The results from thorough testing over the last three weeks, which involved not only both sets of players, but also support staff, match officials, ECB staff, venue staff and hotel staff, have been returned without a positive test.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that 702 Covid-19 tests were carried out between 3 June and 23 June with several stakeholder groups working at the bio-secure venues of the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford,” read a statement from ECB.
“These groups include players, support staff, match officials, ECB staff, venue staff and hotel staff. We can confirm that all 702 tests were negative,” it added.
In order to ensure that the series is played in safe conditions, the ECB has set up two bio-secure venues at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford. The last two Tests of the series will be played at Old Trafford.
At present, West Indies are practising at Old Trafford in an intra-squad warm-up. The game is the first top-level cricket in the world since March. England are yet to play out their own intra-squad warm-up match, which begins on 1 July in Southampton.