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English county season to begin on August 1
County Cricket

English county season to begin on August 1

England's domestic season is all set to commence on August 1 after being delayed by several months, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Monday.

The question over what formats entail the start of the county cricket is yet to be decided as ECB said the matter was "due to be agreed" by the 18 first-class counties.

The inaugural edition of the innovative Hundred competition has already been postponed to next year owing to the coronavirus pandemic creating issues of crowd attendance and travel restrictions.

Ahead of the start of England's county cricket season, the national side will be engaged in a battle with the West Indies in a three-Test series with the first game on July 8.

The opening round of the County Championship was supposed to take place on April 12 but the repeated delays led to the ECB suggesting that salvaging the T20 Blast fixtures was their major priority.

The return of competitive cricket involves the challenges of maintaining high standards of health and safety protocols. Meanwhile, the ECB has approved the request of first-class counties that allows them to train on or before July 1.

"It is a significant step for our game that we are able to approve the start of the men's domestic season for August 1 and one which will be welcomed by everyone connected with county cricket," said ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.

"The ECB also welcomed the input of the counties and the Professional Cricketers' Association in preparing for a domestic season unlike any the game has faced before."

Harrison had previously warned a significant loss of revenue if the English cricketing summer was totally wiped out.

He stressed that the board was working on the implementation of the British government health guidance.

In a bid to prepare for the beginning of domestic cricket, two-day friendly matches between Surrey and Middlesex, and Yorkshire and Lancashire have been announced.

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