LONDON: England’s three-match Test series against the West Indies will begin on July 8 without fans at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl subject to government approval, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said yesterday.
The series was initially scheduled to take place this month but was pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The second and third Tests will be staged at Old Trafford from July 16 and July 24 respectively.
The two stadiums were selected as bio-secure venues due to their on-site hotels, medical testing facilities and ability to enforce social distancing during games, the ECB said.
Edgbaston will serve as a contingency venue to stage additional training throughout July.
“We are in daily dialogue with the government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period,” ECB’s director of etvents, Steve Elworthy, said in a statement.
“These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to UK Government approval.”
The ECB added that a decision about a Test series against Pakistan, and limited-overs matches Pakistan, Australia and Ireland, will be decided later.
Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root has said he would miss the first Test against the West Indies if it clashes with the birth of his child, but backed vice-captain Ben Stokes to take the reins in his absence.
Root’s wife Carrie is due to give birth to their second child in early July
Root said Stokes would make a “fantastic” captain in his absence as the all-rounder leads by example.