The COVID – 19 pandemic brought a complete halt on the everyday leisure activities that many enjoy. All major sports tournaments were cancelled or delayed after the UK government banned sporting activities to minimise the spread of the virus.
Consequently, all international cricket tournaments and the English domestic season scheduled to be started on May were cancelled, delayed or postponed. However, it would still be exciting to cherish all the cricket that would have been taking place in May with the start of the English summer season.
Here’s how all the cricketing action should have panned out in a non – COVID world:
Indian Premier League (IPL) – Suspended till further notice.
The IPL is commonly credited to be the biggest domestic T20 tournament in cricket played in India featuring the finest players across the globe. The season would be in fine-tuning right now, scheduled to start on March 29 and the finals to be played on May 24.
The season was suspended by the BCCI until further notice due to the pandemic.
“The health and safety of the nation and everyone involved in our great sport remain our top priority and as such, the BCCI along with the franchise owners, broadcaster, sponsors and all the stakeholders acknowledge that the IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”Jay Shah, BCCI Honorary Secretary
However, cricket analysts say the franchises would do everything in its power to play the tournament due to the amounts of money to be made and the players involved.
Bangladesh tour of Ireland – Postponed
England and Ireland were set to host the Bangladeshis in three one-day internationals in Belfast and four Twenty20 matches in England. This was later postponed in line with the advice of the British and Irish governments against staging sports events and mass gatherings.
“We have a responsibility to protect the wellbeing of players, coaches, fans and the wider community, and will not hesitate to take a safety-first approach to our operations over coming months.”Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland
English Domestic Season – Delayed
The English domestic season featuring the Specsavers county division one and two tournaments along with the Vitality Blast had been delayed until July 1 by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
According to the new guidelines provided by the ECB, no professional cricket will be played until July 1st and nine rounds of fixtures in the county championships would be lost.
An ECB statement further said that blocks for red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket will be held in a revised schedule and the Vitality Blast will be pushed as late in the season as possible to give it the best opportunity of being staged.
“Our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play. The Vitality Blast will also now occupy the latest possible season slot to offer as much time as possible to play a County short-form competition.”Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer
ECB also announced the launch of the newly introduced ‘The Hundred’ cricket tournament will now take place in summer 2021.
The COVID – 19 pandemic has brought a complete halt to the daily life of British citizens with 201,101 cases and 30,076 deaths in the UK as of May 7. The global tally of confirmed cases had reached 3.7 million with 264,000 deaths according to the statistics shown by Johns Hopkins University.