No domestic cricket in England until August - ECB | Daily News


No domestic cricket in England until August - ECB

LONDON, Thursday - There will be no domestic cricket in England until August 1 at the earliest, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Thursday.

The start of the English season had already been twice delayed by the outbreak of the coronavirus, but the previous start date of July 1 has now been pushed back another month by the pandemic.

England’s postponed Test series at home against the West Indies, however, could still take place in July as Thursday’s announcement by the ECB does not cover international matches.

And even though it will be left with a severely shortened season, the ECB said the “ambition remains to host domestic men’s and women’s cricket across England and Wales later this summer”.

The Professional Game Group will now draw up plans for the restart of domestic cricket, with their proposals going to the ECB board in June.

Among the ideas the ECB said Thursday were being considered are regionalised groups in for the 18 first-class counties as well as allowing in small numbers of spectators to grounds in order to maintain social distancing -- although it is expected internationals in England this season will be played behind closed doors.

Non-televised domestic matches could be streamed live via club channels for county members and supporters.

Meanwhile the recreational game remains suspended, with the ECB looking to liaise with the British government on a possibly earlier return for lower-level cricket.

“Naturally we want to see cricket being played at every level,” said ECB chief executive Tom Harrison in a statement. - AFP

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