The Ageas Bowl in Southampton and Manchester’s Old Trafford will host the three Tests against West Indies subject to UK government clearance, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced. While the first Test, from July 8, will be played in Hampshire, the remaining two Tests will be played in Manchester from July 16 and 24, without spectators.
Edgbaston has been selected as a contingency venue and will be used to stage additional training through July. West Indies are set to arrive on June 9 and will undergo 14-day quarantine before the series. They’ll be accommodated at Old Trafford and will train at the venue for three weeks.
ECB had asked for an expression of interest from the venues and the choices were made after the two grounds demonstrated key principles – bio-security, medical screening/testing provision, footprint to enable social distancing and venue/cricket operations – to create a bio-secure environment.
“Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media,” Steve Elworthy, ECB’s director of events, said. “We are in daily dialogue with Government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period. These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to UK Government approval.
“We would like to thank Cricket West Indies for their co-operation and dedication in making this tour a reality, and we all look forward to the prospect of cricket returning in the coming weeks.”
The tour was originally scheduled to start on June 4 before the Coronavirus pandemic forced ECB to change their plans. The board has confirmed the Kia Oval and Lord’s will be able to keep their ticketing revenues and will also be reimbursed the staging fees.
ECB also stated the schedule for other series’ for both men’s and women’s team will be issued at a later date.
Proposed Tour Schedule
First Test: July 8-12, Ageas Bowl Southampton
Second Test: July 16-20, Old Trafford Manchester
Third Test: July 24-28, Old Trafford Manchester