English മലയാളം



After a long forced holiday, international cricket will get going again. It would be marked by an absence of crowds to applaud the boundaries and the falling wickets.
The game had not seen such a long break since the 2 World Wars in the early 20th century. Even during the World Wars, first-class cricket was played, especially in India, but COVID-19 has enforced a total shutdown.
The sound of the leather brushing the middle of the willow is all set to be heard again as England take on West Indies in what promises to be a historic 3-Test series from July 8 from 3pm Indian time. The two teams will be in action in front of empty stands at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from Wednesday as sport-deprived cricket fans are expected to tune in from across the globe.
The England Cricket Board has said that live telecast and online streaming will also take place. ECB has awarded the contract to Sony Channel. In an effort to encourage the players speakers will be used in the stadiums to bring sounds of spectators clapping and booing players
At a time when the sport is grappling with financial issues, England and West Indies have taken a major step towards return to business. The sporting world was filled with uncertainty when the pandemic forced lockdowns and closure of borders across the globe. Lives and livelihoods were lost and it did not seem cricket would return as early as July.
However, England and West Indies boards have ticked the right boxes so far in making arrangements for the Test series while keeping the safety and health of the players and other stakeholders as a priority.
West Indies arrived in the UK as early as June and were in quarantine during which they were subjected to multiple COVID-19 tests. They lived and trained in bio-secure bubbles in Manchester. On the other hand, England trained under similar conditions in Manchester. Thankfully, none of the players from the two squads have tested positive for Covid-19 so far.
A successful series between England and West Indies will certainly boost the hopes of other cricket-playing nations to consider resuming activities. Already, Pakistan have arrived in the UK and are scheduled to play 3 Tests and 3 T20Is in August-September. England will also play 3 ODIs against Ireland before the Pakistan series.
The second and third Tests will take place in Old Trafford Cricket Stadium.

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