England, on Tuesday, announced the scheduled for their upcoming Test series against West Indies at home. If everything goes ahead as planned, the upcoming series will mark the return of international cricket since the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
As expected, the three-match Test series will be played behind closed doors. The games will take place at The Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford subject to UK Government clearance, stated the ECB.
England will host the Caribbean outfit at The Ageas Bowl from July 8 before the series switches to Old Trafford for the final two games of the series, from July 16 and July 24 respectively, with the stadiums selected as bio-secure venues in large part due to their on-site hotels.
The series was originally scheduled to take place in June before it was postponed due to the pandemic. Last week, Cricket West Indies agreed “in principle” to the new schedule. Jason Holder and his teammates will land in the UK on June 9 and travel to Old Trafford for quarantining and training, with the venue being their base for a three-week period before they move to the Ageas Bowl for the first Test.
In addition to hosting West Indies, England are also looking forward to hosting Pakistan for Tests and T20Is, Ireland for ODIs and Australia for six white-ball games. The ECB will take the decision on the other series at a later date.
“Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media,” said ECB Director of Events, Steve Elworthy.
“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,” he added.
In order to keep venues bio-secure, grounds will be split into an inner zone for players and officials and an outer zone for broadcasters, media and operational staff with no-one permitted to move between the two.
England vs West Indies schedule
First Test – July 8, Ageas Bowl
Second Test – July 16, Old Trafford
Third Test – July 24, Old Trafford