ECB confident of bio-secure arrangements for West Indies Test series 

West Indies' three-Test visit will mark the resumption of international cricket.

The Test series begins on July 8 | ReutersEngland and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) director of events, Steve Elworthy, said the board is confident that its bio-secure bubble for the Test series against West Indies in July will be able to handle even the "most extreme circumstances" amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The three-match Test series versus the Calypso Kings is due to mark international cricket's resumption on July 8 after a lengthy hiatus, with Southampton and Manchester set to host the fixtures. 

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A 25-member Caribbean squad will be arriving in chartered flights for the trip next Tuesday (June 9) and go through the quarantine period in Manchester before the start of the on-field action. 

"The way we have structured the 'bubble' is that it can operate under the most extreme circumstances," Elworthy told Sky Sports.

"All of our planning has been based on the worst-case scenario, from an infection and a rate-spike point of view."

"So external factors should not affect that because, if you are secure within the venue, and you don't break the confines of that venue, then your game should be able to go ahead with no problems at all," he added. 

Hampshire's Ageas Bowl will host the first Test (July 8-12), followed by the next two games (July 16-20 and 24-28) at Lancashire's Old Trafford ground. 

Explaining the rationale behind selecting venues and playing out the series in that order in terms of grounds, Elworthy said: "If you were to hold your first two Test matches at the same venue, you could end up possibly winning a series in the same conditions in the same venue, back-to-back. We felt that to win a series, you should have to win it in two separate sets of conditions."

"We're trying to reduce the amount of time that stakeholders or groups of people are locked down in (a particular) venue for periods of time. We're trying to cover as many of those bases as possible."

The series will be the first home Test series for England in a while to have no match played at Lord's. 

The two venues leapfrogged other marquee grounds in the country for this series because the venue selection criteria included medical screening/testing provision and on-site accommodation.

(Inputs from PTI)


By Kashish Chadha - 05 Jun, 2020

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