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England Cricket Board planning for return of fans next summer as it announces India Test series

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The England and Wales Cricket Board has paved the way in which for a return to normality subsequent summer time, planning for the return of followers at worldwide fixtures and taking the game throughout the nation as soon as once more.

A full calendar of males’s fixtures and one ladies’s sequence had been salvaged this yr regardless of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, however the requirements of the bio-secure bubble meant each recreation was held behind closed doorways.

Moreover, simply three venues staged matches, with Emirates Previous Trafford and the Ageas Bowl used for males’s internationals and all 5 T20s towards West Indies Ladies performed at Derby.

The ECB was all the time reluctant to renew with these restrictions, although, and has now issued a draft itinerary for 2021 which incorporates 9 completely different host grounds and – crucially – a ticket poll that anticipates stay crowds being permitted.

The primary occasion of the summer time is a 5 Take a look at sequence towards India in August and September, with Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Headingley, the Oval and Previous Trafford internet hosting, with white-ball sequence towards Sri Lanka and Pakistan scheduled all through June and July. Matches can even be held at Durham, Edgbaston, Bristol and Cardiff.

Uncertainty across the staging of the World Take a look at Championship Ultimate – which has seen qualifying closely derailed by cancellations throughout the cricketing world – means additional video games may but be added, together with extra fixtures towards Sri Lanka earlier than the primary listed worldwide on June 29.

Tom Harrison, chief government of the ECB, mentioned: “It’s an thrilling prospect for England followers and, whereas Covid means there’s nonetheless a substantial amount of uncertainty, we actually hope to have the ability to welcome followers again into the grounds safely subsequent yr to carry that distinctive environment to stadia throughout the nation.”

Dates and venues have but to be fastened for Heather Knight’s aspect, however the ECB says South Africa and New Zealand are each anticipated to journey for 50 and 20-over sequence, whereas the visually impaired group will return to the sphere towards Ashes rivals Australia.

The rest of the 2021 marketing campaign can also be taking form, with England having confirmed a quick journey to Pakistan in October, ending a 16-year absence because of longstanding safety issues.

A limited-overs tour in early 2021 had been proposed, however scheduling points compelled the ECB to agree a later date.

England will arrive in Karachi on October 12, enjoying two T20s on October 14 and 15 earlier than each groups depart for India forward of the T20 World Cup.

Harrison mentioned: “It’s an actual pleasure to announce that the England males’s IT20 squad will probably be enjoying in Pakistan in October 2021.

“This would be the first time since 2005 that an England group has toured Pakistan and as such it represents a big second for each nations.

“As was demonstrated this summer time, we’ve a robust relationship with the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) and the ECB is delighted to have the ability to play our half in guaranteeing the protected return of worldwide cricket to this excellent nation of passionate cricket followers.

“As all the time, the security and welfare of our gamers and workers will probably be paramount.

“We’re working carefully with the PCB to make sure all the mandatory plans are in place, particularly in regards to the anticipated ranges of safety across the group, the proposed journey protocols and naturally the scenario concerning the fast-moving and ever-changing Covid-19 pandemic.”

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