WORCESTERSHIRE cricketers face a delayed start to the season after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed no cricket would be played until at least May 28 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Work on a revised schedule has already begun with ECB bosses believed to be working on programmes to begin in June, July or August.
Any revised schedule would prioritise delivering as much international and domestic cricket as possible, according to the ECB.
An immediate focus is options for cricket in June, including England’s three-Test series against West Indies, the Vitality 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 cricket fans the chance to watch the action on television.
The impact of the Coronavirus crisis on England’s summer game is far from clear but ECB chief executive Tom Harrison appeared to hint competitions such as the Vitality Blast and The Hundred would take precedence in an emphasis on ‘the most financially important forms of the game for the counties’.
“Securing the future of the game will be a primary focus as we plot a revised schedule with an emphasis on the across international and domestic cricket,” he 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.”
The potential for reduced versions of competitions, should the season become further truncated, will also be discussed, Harrison added.