ECB prioritises The Hundred, T20 Blast
While the cricket season all over the world is most likely to curtailed with even a possibility of going through the summer without even a ball bowled amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is also likely to take the same route.
But though there is a growing possibility of the ECB choosing not to go ahead with the County Championship, scheduled to begin next month, the board is likely to give more priority to the inagural season of The Hundred, and the T20 tournament Vitality Blast.
It is understood that the board is looking to draw contingency plans due to the COVID-19 situation. It has already held talks with various representatives and all the recommendations will be discussed later on Friday (March 20).
A decision within next three or four days is expected, should the talks are held smoothly. However, the cricket season in England could be delayed by at least six or seven weeks, if not even more.
And if that is what is in store for the future, then the most likely scenerio to come out of the announcement by the ECB is that the seven scheduled rounds of the County Championship would be wiped out.
As the participation of overseas players in the inaugural The Hundred has now been put in jeopardy, the ECB has no other choice but draw contingency plans.
The start date of The Hundred is less than four months away; it will roll onto the ground from July 17.
The coronavirus pandemic had earlier caused the postponement of England’s two-match away Test series against Sri Lanka as well, which was to be a part of the World Test Championship.
England’s next international assignment will be the three-match Test series against West Indies, scheduled to begin on June 4 at The Oval. But that series is also in doubt because of the coronavirus pandemic.