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Entire English cricketing summer in doubt after latest coronavirus briefing

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

A leaked Public Health England document seen by The Guardian says that 80 per cent of British citizens are likely to contract coronavirus and that the current epidemic is likely to last until Spring 2021, putting the entirety of the 2020 English cricketing summer in doubt.

In the document, Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, writes: “For the public to hear that it could last for 12 months, people are going to be really upset about that and pretty worried about that. A year is entirely plausible. But that figure isn’t well appreciated or understood.”

Hunter later added that he expected the spread of the virus to subside towards the end of the summer before having another surge in cases in late 2020. There had initially been faint hope that warmer weather would kill the virus, but given the spread of the disease in countries with warmer climates at the moment, that is becoming an increasingly unlikely prospect.

On Friday, the ECB released a statement saying that they expected the 2020 season to go ahead as normal but were simultaneously planning for a significantly interrupted summer. The statement read: “Our main priorities are to ensure we scope out the landscape for financial, logistical and scheduling implications.

“It is difficult for us to be sure of what outcomes the game might be expected to deal with. Therefore, we will continue to plan for the expectation that the season proceeds as normal, but in parallel prepare for a range of scenarios. These could include the possibility of playing matches behind closed doors, or potentially postponing or cancelling elements of the season.”

Since Friday, there has been a spike in the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus. In the last 48 hours, 24 people have died from the disease in the UK. England are currently due to play three-match World Test Championship series against both West Indies and Pakistan while the first season of The Hundred is also set to take place.


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