The ongoing coronavirus pandemic across the United Kingdom (UK) prompted the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to postpone their entire 2020 international and domestic home summer. Moreover, the ECB recently shifted the launch of the much-awaited 100-ball tournament The Hundred to 2021 as UK lockdown continues to remain in effect. In light of the current situation, the ECB recently came up with a scheme in an attempt to aid affiliated cricket tournaments across England and Wales.
On Thursday, the ECB launched an ‘Emergency Loan Scheme’ to help affiliated cricket competitions during the ongoing coronavirus-induced UK lockdown. In a media statement, ECB’s Director of Participation and Growth Nick Pryde recently said that “it has been great to see” the cricket clubs in the country receiving financial support from national and local government schemes as well as through the ECB’s emergency loan scheme. He later revealed that even if cricket is not played in their 2020 summer, the ECB are in a position to financially help all affiliated leagues across England and Wales.
The loan scheme of ECB is intended to support recreational cricket like open-age and junior league matches during the ongoing coronavirus crisis amid UK lockdown. Nick Pryde also said that the board is still hoping for recreational cricket to return this season and they are currently working closely with the government to make sure of the same.
Even though The Hundred has been shifted by a year (to 2021), the ECB are reportedly taking measures to safely host six home Tests against West Indies and Pakistan this summer. According to a report in The Guardian, all England Test players including Joe Root and Ben Stokes were warned to undergo daily temperature checks should the series against West Indies and Pakistan goes ahead as planned. The warning comes as a part of ECB’s bio-security measures for all their players.