The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today agreed that no professional cricket will be played in England and Wales until at least July 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The season remains subject to ongoing advice from government and health experts, and continued consultation with all broadcast partners to determine the optimum way to fulfil fixtures both domestically and internationally.
The ECB Board approved the following measures:
- Professional cricket will not be played in England and Wales until at least July 1
- Nine rounds of fixtures will be lost in the County Championship season, but blocks for red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket will be held in a revised schedule
- The Vitality Blast will be pushed as late in the season as possible to give it the best opportunity of being staged. All matches previously scheduled in June will be moved later in the season
- International cricket, featuring England men’s and women’s teams, will look to be scheduled from July until the end of September, with the West Indies Test Series and the whole women’s series against India (Vitality IT20s and Royal London ODIs) both moving from their original slots
- An additional Board meeting will be scheduled next Wednesday on The Hundred, following a request to dedicate a further session to the competition
ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said:
“Our role as a national governing body during a crisis of this scale requires us to carefully plan alongside cricket’s stakeholders and supporters to attempt to overcome COVID-19’s impact on this season.
“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 – over and above the playing of professional sport – will be to protect the vulnerable, key workers and society as a whole.
“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 biggest challenge, along with other sports, is how we could seek to implement a bio-secure solution that offers optimum safety and security for all concerned. The guidance we receive from Westminster will help us shape how we deliver this.
“Our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play. The Vitality Blast will also now occupy the latest possible season slot to offer as much time as possible to play a County short-form competition.
“I want to thank everyone involved in this complex and sensitive work. There have clearly never been times like this and my colleagues at the ECB and across the game have been exemplary in this period. It has been refreshing, but not surprising, to see how cricket has come together.”
Can I claim a refund on my Season Ticket?
At this stage all three formats of cricket remain a possibility and a focus for both the ECB and First Class Counties, albeit in a new look schedule and truncated season. Until we have a finalised schedule from the ECB for the 2020 season we are unable to offer refunds on season tickets.
We will contact Season Ticket Holders directly once the situation is clear.
I had tickets for a postponed or to be rescheduled game, can I get a refund?
With the latest ECB update all fixtures up until the 1st of July have been set to be rescheduled or have been cancelled.
Tickets for postponed and to be rescheduled games will remain valid and you don’t need to do anything. However if your game has been cancelled and would like a refund, you can request this by contacting email@example.com with your ticket details.
What will happen to the County Championship?
In total there were nine rounds of County Championship action scheduled up to July 1 which due to the postponement have been cancelled, but blocks for red-ball and white-ball cricket will be held in a revised schedule.
Will there be a full Vitality Blast?
The Vitality Blast is one of the ECB’s two priorities when modelling a revised schedule, alongside International cricket. The ECB are working with their partners across the game to determine how best to reschedule Vitality Blast in 2020 when it is safe to do so.
All tickets already purchased for Blast games will remain valid for rescheduled games, you don’t need to do anything.
When will recreational cricket be played?
Based on the Government’s advice, the ECB recommended the suspension of all recreational cricket on March 18. This suspension remains in place until further notice in order to keep everyone in the cricket family safe – this is our upmost priority.
Will there be social distancing when the season starts?
At this stage we’re unable to predict what social distancing measures will be in place when cricket returns, however, we will strictly follow Government advice and have all recommended precautions and requirements in place at The County Ground so you are hopefully able to enjoy cricket with us this summer.