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Sports - March 21, 2020

English cricket season delayed until May

LONDON (AFP) – No professional cricket will be played in England and Wales before May 28 due to the coronavirus pandemic, cricket chiefs announced on Friday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has begun modelling a range of options to start the season in June, July or August.

The immediate focus on options for cricket in June include the three-Test series against West Indies, the Twenty20 Blast and England Women s schedule against India.

“Close liaison with the government will continue, with discussions on the potential of starting the season behind closed doors and giving sports fans the opportunity to live broadcast action,” the ECB said in a statement.

“The potential for reduced versions of competitions, should the season become further truncated, will also be discussed.”

ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison, said: “With the information available to us at the moment a delay to the start of the professional cricket season until May 28 was unavoidable.

“This also allows us time to keep pace with a fast-moving situation and continue to plan for how a revised season might look. Critically, we can also remain as flexible and adaptable as possible, within the obvious restrictions we face.”

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