ECB chalking out a plan to host international matches behind closed doors

The ECB had earlier postponed all professional cricket in the country till May 28.

Advertisement

Captain Joe Root of England (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

With the global pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) causing havoc around the world, everything has been put under a lockdown. More than half a million people have been infected by the deadly virus, out of which 22,000 have succumbed, ringing alarm bells around the world. Sports is one of the worst affected arenas. In the cricketing context, the suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the upcoming English home season is set to burn quite a big hole in the pockets of all of those involved.

That said, the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are still trying their best to resume cricketing action and are set to go as far as installing Coronavirus checkpoints and isolation points at the ground itself. However, the spectators wouldn’t be allowed on the ground.

Advertisement

The ECB had earlier postponed all professional cricket in the country till May 28, which sparked the debate around the viability of holding T20 Blast, domestic One-day competition, County championships, the newest tournament Hundred and the International fixtures this season.

ECB mapping out backup plans in the wake of COVID-19

In a recent interview with the Guardian, ECB’s director of events Steve Elworthy revealed how the cricketing body is chalking out plans to hold International matches behind closed doors where no more than 500 people will be allowed.

“We’re mapping out what international matches would look like behind closed doors. The advice around mass gatherings was 500 people or fewer. That was guided by the potential impact on critical services like paramedics and doctors.” Elworthy said.

He added: “You would likely have to work within that number (which would be made up of essential matchday staff, then you have to think about medical provisions, creating a safe and sterile environment around that venue, so that everyone who comes in is clear.”

England are scheduled to host West Indies, Pakistan for full-fledged tours followed by limited-overs series against Australia and Ireland. Elworthy assured that the plans will be made keeping in mind the safety of all the stakeholders involved. England’s Test series against Sri Lanka was recently cancelled due to the proliferation of COVID-19.

Advertisement