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ECB welcomes UK government advice over resumption of cricket behind closed doors
Cricket Resumption

ECB welcomes UK government advice over resumption of cricket behind closed doors

The England and Wales Cricket Board will ramp up its efforts to restart cricket amidst empty stands after receiving an encouraging response from the British government.

UK government officials have given a go-ahead to cricket and other sports to resume from next week in line with the health and safety guidelines conveyed by the medical experts.

With the gradual ease of lockdown restrictions in the country, the ECB will now devise methods to eliminate the risk of COVID-19 transmission while hosting a number of teams this summer.

"We are extremely heartened by Saturday's announcement from the Secretary of State, which will support the return of professional, domestic cricket behind closed doors, and provides a meaningful next step for recreational players to begin playing at their clubs again," an ECB statement read.

"Over the coming week, we will seek to understand the specific guidance from Government's medical teams so that we can provide support for cricket clubs who will be eager to see their communities safely playing in small groups."

The ECB hopes to stage matches in "bio-secure" environments, understood to be the grounds in Southampton and Manchester, which feature the facility of on-site accommodation for players.

The British government's approval of stage three of the return to elite sport comes in the aftermath of ECB pushing back the date of commencement of the domestic season to August 1.

Meanwhile, international cricket is expected to be played much sooner with the tentative date set for West Indies' first Test against England at July 8.

England have already named an enlarged training group comprising of 55 players given the gruelling requirements of a condensed international schedule in the coming months. The Test series against the travelling Caribbean side was supposed to begin on June 4 but it was postponed in light of the worsening coronavirus situation in the UK.