On Tuesday the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced tentative dates and venues for the three-Test series against the West Indies in July. The board wants the series to be held behind closed doors but has acknowledged that it is subject to approval from the UK Government. The ECB plans to host the first test at Southampton’s Rose Bowl Stadium from 8-12 July, with Manchester’s Old Trafford Stadium staging the second and third tests from 16-20 July and 24-28 July, respectively. Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Ground has been chosen as a contingency and training place.
The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on June 9 as per the planned timetable and will fly to Old Trafford where they will practice and stay in quarantine for the next three weeks. A statement from ECB read, “The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, traveling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. This will be their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.”
The series was scheduled to take place in June but was delayed due to coronavirus. The series should have begun on Thursday at The Oval in south London, with Edgbaston and Lord’s initially scheduled for the second and third tests.
However, the fixtures will now be played behind-closed-doors and the series has been moved to the Rose Bowl and Old Trafford for bio-security reasons, with both grounds having on-site hotels where players and officials can be closely monitored for COVID-19 signs.
The ECB also announced that it will begin the process to refund fans who had purchased the tickets for the matches as per original schedule.