West Indies mulling hosting England for Test series in June
The Caribbean Islands have reported much lower counts of coronavirus cases that in the United Kingdom (UK).
Updated - Mar 19, 2020 12:21 pm
West Indies have been contemplating hosting England for the Test series, starting in June. The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the United Kingdom (UK) with the death exceeding 100 and over 2,600 cases. Johnny Grave, the chief executive of Cricket West Indies said that the Caribbeans would be more than happy to play the hosts if the situation doesn’t improve in the UK.
For the time being, the Tests are scheduled to start on Thursday, June 4 with the opening game at the Kennington Oval in London. The Edgbaston and Lord’s are the venues for the remaining couple of matches. The West Indies are yet to get effected with COVID-19 to a large extent.
Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia, the hosts of the last year’s series, have reported only five coronavirus cases until now. Bearing in mind the same, the CWI has offered to lend its helping hand for England where May and June are projected to be the peak months for the pandemic.
Not trying to take advantage of the situation: Cricket West Indies chief
“I’ve spoken to [ECB chief executive] Tom Harrison a couple of times in the last few days and assured him that we will be as flexible, supportive and helpful as possible. To that end, yes, we have offered to host the series here in the Caribbean if that is deemed helpful. The ECB would retain all commercial and broadcast rights,” the Chief Executive was quoted as saying in The Guardian.
Earlier, England’s World Test Championship (WTC) matches in Sri Lanka also got postponed. The CWI CEO stated that in times of crisis, everyone should unite and help each other.
“This is not about us trying to take advantage of the situation. It’s about the cricket community working together at a difficult time for everyone and, one of the many great things about the Caribbean is, we can play cricket all year round,” he stated.
“There has long been a special relationship between the cricket communities in the Caribbean and England and we wanted to make it clear we will do everything we can to help,” Grave added.
England have quite a few games scheduled in 2020. Australia and Pakistan are due to tour in July and August. The inaugural edition of The Hundred and the most-awaited T20 Blast are also scheduled to take place. It remains to be seen whether or not the COVID-19 turns detrimental to those series.