Alec Stewart, former England captain and now Surrey’s director of cricket believes that the outbreak of COVID-19 may pressure England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to curtail their home season to solely money-spinning tournaments such because the T20 Blast and the newly launched ‘The Hundred’.
United Kingdom has been ravaged by the everspreading coronavirus pandemic and is ready to create havoc within the scheduling of County championships, resulting from begin on April 12. Stewart although believes that the season is likely to be delayed by a minimum of three months if no more and may very well be restricted to solely maintain profitable tournaments.
“I am anticipating a season to doubtlessly begin in July, however it’s solely doubtlessly as we do not know the place this pandemic goes to go,” the 56-year outdated instructed BBC Radio 4’s In the present day program on Friday (Match 20).
Eight Surrey gamers are at present in self-isolation after displaying signs of COVID-19 and the remainder of the squad have stopped apply from Tuesday onwards in accordance with the directives issued by the British authorities.
With cricket coming to a halt, all of the 18 counties are at present dealing with an unsure future and are stated to be concerned in discussions with the ECB finance division about potential monetary help. On the request of the ECB, the counties are additionally drawing up contingency plans to avoid wasting funds and work on potential eventualities if the present atmosphere persists. A few of them have been forthcoming as nicely with Hampshire chairman, Rod Bransgrove, saying that there may very well be the potential for completely no cricket this season.
Stewart although reckons that ECB will attempt to slot in some cricket over the season at the same time as they grapple with the monetary implications and the losses to take care of. “I believe they’re going to take a look at getting The Hundred on and the T20 Blast. They’re going to be the 2 priorities due to the monetary implications to the sport,” he stated.
The Hundred is ECB’s new format of the sport which has been formulated protecting in thoughts the necessities of ‘made for TV’ cricket, with video games ending in precisely three hours. Attributable to start in late July, the competitors has attracted scores of gamers from each England and overseas – who’ve joined the eight groups based mostly at Lord’s, The Oval, The Ageas Bowl, Cardiff, Headingley, Previous Trafford, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston.
“The ECB are doing a relentless job behind the scenes to attempt and ensure they make good, educated selections,” Stewart stated. I do not suppose something’s going to be taken off the desk. Surrey is without doubt one of the better-off financially of the counties, however on the similar time, their overheads are better. We’re being instructed they’ll handle in the mean time, however the longer it goes on, then drastic measures could should happen,” he added.