Ashley Giles optimistic of some international cricket happening this English summer

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to ruin the entire England international and domestic season.

England is due to play important Test championship games at home | GettyDirector of England men's cricket, Ashley Giles remains hopeful that there will be international cricket played at some stage during this English summer. Giles assured that the players will be ready to step on the field whenever the on-field play is safe to resume. 

The ECB has already announced that there won't be any cricket played in UK till May 28, a suspension period which is likely to be extended into June, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read Also: Australia's proposed Test tour of Bangladesh postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic

England is due to face West Indies for three World Test Championship fixtures in June and then take on Pakistan in further games as it approaches the business end of the tournament's inaugural cycle, either side of limited-overs matches against Australia and Ireland. 

Administrators are thinking of various scenarios that would allow majority of the scheduled fixtures to be played whenever the situation improves. 

"That's what we're looking at right now and we're working with the other boards around the world on seeing if that is possible," Cricbuzz quoted Giles as saying. "We have really good relations with these boards and we're doing whatever we can to look at scenarios where we can push our cricket back which gives us the best chance of playing as much international cricket as possible."

"We all understand that in a period like this we have to be as flexible as we can. Nothing is going to be ideal. Preparation for players, rest between matches, cross over of formats, right now it is a blank sheet of paper because it has to be, we have to adapt," the former left-arm spinner added. 

The ECB is anticipating major financial implications of the game's further suspension. "The priority is doing what we are told to be doing and a lot of what we hear in the news is naturally negative and is bad news. We have to try and remain positive as well. I am positive we will get some cricket in later in the summer," Giles said. "Exactly what that will look like I don't know, but we have to be when we are planning otherwise it becomes ever decreasing circles and we just get more and more down on the situation."

"Our jobs are perhaps to look at those scenarios positively because I do think when it is time, sport will have a big role to play in bringing the country back to its feet I really do. Our teams have a big role in that."

One option up for discussions will be to play different fixtures for contrasting formats on the same day at separate venues under a cramped schedule. 

"Technically it's feasible," Giles said. "You could put two different groups together. We haven't really looked at that, like that, yet. We have certainly looked at playing two formats around the same time. You could have a Test match running and play a T20 or an ODI the day before or the day after a Test match."

"But it's also working with the broadcasters on what's best and what they want. That's another important partnership for us," he added. "They will be suffering at the moment and we are very much all in this together. We will do whatever we have to do."

"Whilst it may not be ideal from a playing point of view, in the long run it might give us a better look at other players and a broader group of people that we might have to play in that way in the future. In that sense it might be an opportunity."

(Inputs from Cricbuzz)


By Kashish Chadha - 10 Apr, 2020

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