Resuming international cricket amidst COVID-19 scare demands guts on the part of all facets involved in the resumption. The same was highlighted by England Cricket Board Director of Special Projects Steve Elworthy in a recent interaction with Sky Sports Cricket.
“It’s an incredibly challenging but, at the same time, very rewarding project. What we are trying to achieve here is something that has never been done before,” Elworthy was quoted as saying on Sky Sports Cricket Podcast’s The Cricket Show.
Elworthy was obviously referring to the efforts around England hosting West Indies for a three-match Test series. Following a government directive which seems to be almost confirmed, England will host West Indies from July 8 to become the first country to host international cricket amidst the global crisis.
While spectators are highly unlikely to be allowed during these matches, Elworthy has expressed confidence in conducting them under “safe and secure” environment.
“We’re very confident and comfortable with the fact we’ve got a plan in place to deliver these bio-secure matches behind closed doors – in the most safe and secure way,” he said.
England plan to host Pakistan and Australia
There is no denying to the fact that the pandemic happening right before the English summer has affected their plans in more ways than one. Other than West Indies, England were also scheduled to host Pakistan, Australia and Ireland this summer.
Further speaking on the upcoming fixtures, Elworthy revealed that ECB (England Cricket Board) are in constant talks with PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), CA (Cricket Australia) and CI (Cricket Ireland) to put their best foot forward to conduct all matches as planned.
“There has been a huge amount of work done. The West Indies are the first team to arrive here but, at the same time, we hope to have Australia, Pakistan and Ireland come this summer.
“We have been speaking to them, we’ve been in weekly communication with all of them but, in this particular case, more extensively with the West Indies because their Test matches are about five weeks away,” Elworthy added.
While Pakistan are expected to tour England for three Tests and three T20Is, Australia are expected to play six white-ball matches. It will as late as September when Ireland are slated to play three ODIs in England.