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Cricket West Indies offer to host Test series with England

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Cricket West Indies has offered for England to move its home Test series with West Indies to the Caribbean.

The two sides are currently scheduled to begin a three-match series on June 4, but the coronavirus outbreak is threatening to derail the English summer. The pandemic is expected to reach its peak in the UK in late May through to mid-June, which means the current home international itinerary is bound to undergo some change.

Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the Caribbean – 13 have been recorded in Jamaica – and last week CWI announced the suspension of all its tournaments from March 16 for a minimum of 30 days. The situation at present is more critical in the UK. At the current time of writing, 104 people in the UK have died after testing positive for coronavirus.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the ECB and CWI have held discussions in recent days, exploring the possibility of rescheduling the series or hosting it in the Caribbean.

“I’ve spoken to Tom Harrison [ECB chief executive] a couple of times in the last few days and assured him that we will be as flexible, supportive and helpful as possible,” Jonny Grave, chief executive of CWI told ESPNcricinfo.

“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.

“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. 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.”

The same report added that it is understood that CWI has also offered to host England’s three-match Test series with Pakistan, which will take place in July and August.

On Wednesday the ECB announced its recommendation to suspend recreational cricket in England and Wales. On Thursday the ECB are to meet with the 18 first-class counties to discuss the schedule for the season.

England quick James Anderson has expressed his fears that there may be no cricket played in England this summer.

“Cricket and sport is not the be all and end all but it is my livelihood, it’s all I know,” Anderson said on the BBC Tailenders podcast.

“The season is unlikely to start. It’s still a little bit hazy as to what’s going to happen. There’s a chance we might not even bowl a ball this summer.

“I feel a little bit anxious. Just the not knowing is giving me a bit of anxiety.”

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