England ponders ways to resume international cricket in ‘sterile bubble’

By: Sports Desk |

Published: March 27, 2020 5:52:34 pm

The Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham (File Photo/AP)

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is planning to install coronavirus checkpoints and isolation units at grounds in its bid to resume international cricket without any spectator. Cricket has been halted by all official bodies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Even the ECB has suspended all cricket till May 28, delaying the start of the new season.

ECB have now said that they are considering ways to prepare their grounds for cricket to be played in a safe environment – involving a ‘sterile bubble’ to ensure the identification of anyone in the vicinity carrying the virus.

“We’re mapping out what international matches would look like behind closed doors,” ECB director of events Steve Elworthy told the Guardian.

The UK government had banned mass gathering of more than 500 prior to current under lockdown to contain the virus. Alluding to the initial government advice, Elworthy said: “The advice around mass gatherings was 500 people or fewer. That was guided by the potential impact on critical services like paramedics and doctors.

“You would likely have to work within that number (which would be made up of essential matchday staff)… then you have to think about medical provisions, creating a safe and sterile environment around that venue, so that everyone who comes in is clear.

“So it’s how you test them at the gate, the isolation units that you have to put in. These are considerations we are thinking about.”

Elworthy, however, insisted everyone’s safety is the priority and the decision to conduct matches will not be decided by the economic need.
“One thing you have to consider is the national mood. You might be able to deliver a match but would it be the right thing? Operationally, we believe we can deliver anything but we have to have an eye on that. You don’t just operate in a bubble, you need peripheral vision. “(And) making sure everyone is in a safe environment is front and centre of the discussions.”

(With PTI inputs)

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