Unlike other sports affected by COVID-19, Cricket is different due to the complexity of set schedules, tours and players participating in tournaments outside of their country of residence.
The Hundred – Will we see it?
A brand new tournament is set to launch in the UK this July and finish in August which is set to continue the revolution of short-form Cricket. The name ‘Hundred’ is that as this form of Cricket is 100 balls per team. And the big question is ‘The Hundred’ the new tournament that the fans were excited with, will we see it?
Teams have been created from players from around the UK and with players due to come from around the world there is a lot of enthusiasm to see how this tournament is taken by the UK Cricket fans. Currently, the tournament is scheduled to take place, however with all the Cricket before that being pushed back, the tournament owners will want this to go ahead subject to the COVID19 allowing it.
Updates will be shared as we head in to April, but the aim is for this event to take place.
Another big tournament to mention is the IPL. The biggest twenty over competition in the world was meant to get underway next week, but the tournament has been postponed and with the format of the competition which involves all the teams taking players from all over the world as well as homegrown players, this will have an effect on everyone’s schedule due to other commitments.
With the Cricket calendar having a very tight schedule any movement in dates will have a knock-on effect for other events.
IPL 2020 was going to be the biggest event yet with the best short-form Cricket players from around the around heading to India to take part in the two-month tournament. The IPL consists of 8 teams from different cities in India and the regular participants include the Mumbai Indians who are the record winners with 4 victories. Then there are the Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Dehli Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The current situation is there is a review to happen in mid-April, but depending on the continuation of the virus, this date will continue to push back but the aim is to deliver this event in 2020.
Vitality Blast – UK
The 20/20 competition involving all counties is set to start in May, but with the lockdown in the UK due to COVID19, this event may have to be postponed and pushed back. The one key point to note is that unless the tournament can be completed by mid-September, then this tournament will surely not take place, due to the weather in UK most September which doesn’t lend itself to Cricket.
England are set to host a three-match summer test series against West Indies and Pakistan. These six matches are set to take place between June and August and form part of the ICC World Test Championship. With the tight schedule as outlined above, this test series may have to be reduced. However given the start date of June, there is still hope that this can be played.
Bangladesh are scheduled to host two test matches against Australia, while when the West Indies leave England, they are set to head home to face South Africa in a two-match test series.
One Day Internationals
There are many one day international series that are being reviewed due to COVID19. Starting with the next scheduled event which is Ireland’s tour of Zimbabwe in April. This is very unlikely to go ahead and will be reviewed to see if it’s cancelled.
Australia are scheduled to head over to England for three day/night internationals in July which currently are scheduled to go ahead.
One other key set of internationals which are scheduled for the summer are New Zealand heading over to West Indies for three matches in July. These are still scheduled to go ahead.
England County Cricket
The county Cricket season is due to start in mid-April and run all the way through to September. The start of the season is scheduled to be postponed which does put this season in doubt given the back lock of fixtures it will cause. There may have to be a decision made to void matches and just begin the season once COVID19 allows the season to start.
In summary, with the Cricket season just about to really ramp up, many tours will have to have to be cancelled due to the meticulous planning of them. Plus with IPL 2020 postponed, there could be a real doubt this goes ahead. Events in July-September are still scheduled so the hope is COVID19 allows these to go ahead.