'We could send a team': Cricket Australia chief upbeat over England tour

Tanya Simon
May 23, 2020

The coronavirus has delayed the start of the English season until at least July, but the England and Wales Cricket Board is hoping to stage a full worldwide campaign to avoid a possible loss of 380 million ($465 million).

Despite the pandemic, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is still planning to stage a full home worldwide programme, starting with a three-Test series against the West Indies, which was originally scheduled for June. We're looking at bringing around 25 players - more than normal.

'We were presented with a lot of the planning and detail that the European Central Bank are putting into place for this summer, especially on the operational side, right from the plane for travel to the bio-secure venues we will play in'. We are planning to get them together to train for the tour. We all want cricket to be played but not at all costs. "We're probably about a week away from that".

Current guidelines mean any arrivals to the United Kingdom from overseas would require a 14-day quarantine period, but there is a chance that could also double as a training period if the venue can be signed off as "bio-secure".

Cricket Show host Ian Ward will also be joined by Sky Cricket experts Michael Atherton and Ebony Rainford-Brent, with England's imminent return to training sure to be discussed.

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The global health crisis has put matches on hold in England until 1 July at the earliest while in other countries the season is already over.

Although the selectors are curiously holding off from naming this pool of players until next week - as well as a separate white-ball group - the bowlers will start their work at seven grounds: Chester-le-Street, Edgbaston, Hove, Old Trafford, Taunton, the Oval and Trent Bridge. "We are also told there is going to be a third venue, which is going to be our base while we are in England".

The players are seeking to build up their match fitness ahead of a rescheduled Test series at home to the West Indies in July, which is set to take place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

There is a 9 out of 10 chance that India will make the trip Down Under for a four-Test series later this year, Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said trying to downplay the uncertainty triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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