After a long break of 117 days owing to the coronavirus lockdown, international cricket is all set to resume from Wednesday onwards as West Indies take on hosts England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. But besides the return of the sport, cricket will also witness some new changes owing to the pandemic.
One of the significant changes witnessed on Wednesday was a socially-distanced team huddle as respective skipper Jason Holder of West Indies and Ben Stokes of England delivered their speeches. Even in the press box, journalists maintained distancing while sitting.
Leading up to the opening Test, all players, coaching staff, and stadium personnel were repeatedly checked for coronavirus and players practiced in bio-secure environments.
Meanwhile, for matches, ICC has incorporated new bu temporary guidelines which includes no use of saliva to shine the ball, teams will receive more DRS reviews per innings, no handshakes or high-fives during celebrations and presence of non-neutral umpires have been allowed.
Toss delays proceedings in Southampton...
The long delay of the resumption of the sport has been delayed owing to continuous rain in Southampton on Wednesday following which toss was delayed and now players have taken an early lunch.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, England players wore training shirts that bore the name of key workers. The players of the two teams are also expected to 'take a knee' in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.