A county cricket chief executive has cast doubts on hopes of domestic cricket taking place in England this summer due to the cost of coronavirus tests covering all 18 counties being prohibitive, according to The Times.
Cautious optimism had been building around the game that some county cricket might be possible, with ESPNcricinfo reporting that the ECB hoped to start the season in early August. However, an unnamed chief exec, speaking to The Times, thinks that the precautions will simply be unaffordable.
“You have to be hopeful and plan for the best scenario, but the county game cannot afford the testing,” he said. “Premier League football clubs can pay £30,000 per week for 50 players and staff to be tested, the ECB can afford to pay for two international squads to be tested, but 18 counties? Testing is a major stumbling block.”
The situation differs to that for international cricket in two respects: the number of players that will need to be tested, and the revenue each brings in. Utilising a less expensive form of testing for county cricket would not appear to be an option, according to ECB CEO Tom Harrison.
“The safety protocols that would need to be in place to stage international cricket behind closed doors in this environment and those protocols will also need to apply to the domestic game,” he said in a statement.