England Cricket Board and its subsidiaries, like more other cricketing boards, have been financially struck owing to the coronavirus pandemic. With no revenues being generated since March, employees and players have received salary cuts. But the board and its members are hopeful of changing the tide with international action resuming from July onwards as the West Indies cricket team is slated to tour the country for a Test series.
The series will begin in Southampton's Ageas Bowl stadium on July 8 with matches being played behind closed doors. After the Test side shifts to the second venue, England's ODI side is slated to begin their training in Hampshire from July 16 onwards.
“The whole idea of a hotel on-site and a gated ground is bio-secure, so no one leaves the premises. The hotel staff will be serving the players, officials and the media. They will all be tested regularly. There will be select few from the UK media and they will have to stay at the hotel for the duration of the match. Nobody goes home after the end of day’s play,” Giles White, Director of Cricket, Hampshire, told Sportstar on Saturday.
The Windies side, comprising 25 players and support staff, will arrive in England on June 9, serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine period before heading to Old Trafford where the players will train for the series.
“They come down to the Ageas around July 4 ahead of the first Test. While they return to Old Trafford for the second and third Tests, the England white-ball side is going to be training at the Ageas from July 16 to prepare for the ODI series against Ireland, scheduled from July 30 [provisionally]. There will be two teams working between two different venues, training and preparing, and then playing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Giles is hopeful of television coverage of the opener at the venue.
“Lot of money comes through TV rights. Getting international cricket on TV is a big part of helping the game as a whole in this country. Every county will benefit from international cricket. It is good for us that we are also hosting a Test match. Hopefully, the hotel will also be full for the next three months,” said the former Hampshire batsman.