As the COVID-19 crisis worsens, England and Wales Cricket Board chief Ashley Giles is becoming even less confident about England’s home series against West Indies starting on time. The three-Test series starting in June with the first game to be played at The Oval slated for June 4 start, it seems imminent that the series, along with the rest of the English summer will be delayed.Also Read - ENG vs IND: No Strict Bubble For India-England Series Despite COVID-19 Outbreak in Team India Camp, Says ECB Chief Executive
The start of the cricketing season in England was delayed till May 28 due to the pandemic but as the number of cases continue to increase and with no immediate solution in sight, there is a chance of further postponement. After West Indies, England are also scheduled to play home series against Pakistan, Australia and Ireland, and the postponement has drawn serious uncertainties regarding their fate. Also Read - The Hundred: ECB Announces Playing Conditions - All You Need to Know
“The deadline of May 28 still stands but it’s looking less and less likely that we’re going to be out there in June. We have to look at alternatives,” Giles said. “We are looking at scenarios where we can push those matches back as far as possible without losing any cricket. Whether eventually games start falling off the calendar right now we don’t know. If we can’t get it all, it’s really important we work in partnership with all the other boards to fulfil those fixtures but with a priority on keeping people safe.” Also Read - Nasser Hussain Reacts to COVID-19 Outbreak in England Team: "It Will be Absolute Chaos at ECB Towers"
To allow the smooth transition of players to get into the groove after spending so much time at home, Giles has proposed an intra-squad match to serve the purpose of a warm-up. That, of course, is subject to the possibility of the COVID-19 relenting sufficiently.
“From a playing point of view certainly, I think we’ll need to play a couple of warm-up games,” Giles said. They could be behind closed doors; they could be among England players — none of us really know until we get there. If we had to, I think that would be a decent way around a problem if we weren’t playing cricket more broadly. I think we could do that.
“We have got enough depth where we can split our resources but we haven’t got that far.”