April 24, 2020 / 9:46 AM / a month ago

Cricket-England suspends professional game until July 1 due to pandemic

April 24 (Reuters) - The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday extended the suspension of the professional game in the country until July 1 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

As a result, England’s three-match home test series against the West Indies scheduled for June and the women’s T20I and ODI matches against India in June and July will be moved.

The decision also means nine rounds of fixtures will be lost in the County Championship season while the Vitality Blast, due to start on May 28, will be pushed as late in the season as possible to give it the best opportunity of being staged.

"As much as we remain hopeful that we can deliver some cricket this summer, we are in the midst of a worldwide crisis and our priority... will be to protect the vulnerable, key workers and society," ECB CEO Tom Harrison said in a statement here

“That’s why, simply put, there will be no cricket unless it’s safe to play. Our schedule will only go ahead if government guidance permits.

“Our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play.” (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)

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