ECB identifies steps for return of recreational cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has identified five steps for the recreational games proposed phased return in England this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

England is currently in step 3 – which allows for small group training sessions of up to six people while respecting social distancing, said ECB in a media release.

The Welsh government is due to review current restrictions on June 18.

“As cricket is a non-contact sport that involves individual disciplines within a team environment, forms of the game can be played while respecting social distancing. We will continue to be led by UK government advice and will only move into step 4 when the guidance allows and when it is medically safe to do so,” said ECB.

In the next step, the board will schedule shorter format matches while adhering the government guidelines. In the fifth and final step, all formats, leagues and competitions would be available and it is this stage that will allow the removal of all social distancing norms.

The three-match Test series between England and West Indies, scheduled to be played next month, will mark the resumption of international cricket which has been on a standstill since March following the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

The first Test is slated to be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.

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