West Indies agree to tour England ‘in principle’ with coronavirus measures in place

West Indies agree to tour England 'in principle' with coronavirus measures in place 1 IMG 20200530 125949

Cricket West Indies has agreed “in principle” to July’s Test tour of England, but players and staff will take a 50% pay cut.

West Indies
England toured the West Indies at the beginning of 2019

West Indies have agreed “in principle” to play their three-Test series against England in July.

The West Indies are due to fly out to England from Antigua on June 8, with three Test matches at venues to be confirmed the following month, a series rescheduled from its original June 4 start date.

The players will be tested for coronavirus before leaving and during Tests grounds will be split into zones dividing players, groundstaff and officials. Movement between zones will be restricted.

The tourists will isolate in a bio-secure environment after arriving in England and the series would be played behind closed doors with players screened regularly for coronavirus throughout the duration of their stay.

The Ageas Bowl in Southampton and Manchester’s Old Trafford cricket ground are being discussed as potential venues for the Tests as they have hotels on site where the players can stay.

CWI’s management is in the process of seeking to put all of the approvals and logistics in place within the Caribbean.

This includes seeking permission from governments to facilitate the movement of players and support staff, using private charter planes and conducting medical screenings and individual coronavirus testing for all members of the touring party.

England are also scheduled to play Pakistan, Ireland and Australia across red and white-ball cricket this summer and on Friday selected 14 uncapped players in a 55-man back-to-training group to step up plans for those matches.

The ECB is in talks with the International Cricket Council (ICC) about allowing coronavirus player substitutions in its upcoming planned Test series against West Indies and Pakistan.

ECB director of events Steve Elworthy hopes an agreement will be reached in time for the series against the West Indies, which is due to start in July.

The ICC currently only allows a player to be replaced during a match because of concussion. Under the proposed change, a late substitution would also be allowed on coronavirus grounds. Media reports did not specify how the procedure would work, including whether it would involve testing players.

“I know there are still some considerations from an ICC perspective about a Covid-19 replacement,” Elworthy said. “That still needs to be agreed.””This is specifically for test cricket, and we would hope that would be in place well before the test series starts in July.”

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