ECB considers installing coronavirus checkpoints in stadiums



English cricket chiefs are mulling over the possibility of recommencing games behind closed doors with the facilities of coronavirus checkpoints and isolation units at grounds.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had earlier announced that the domestic season would be delayed to May 28 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Kingdom government has imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the disease but the ECB is keen to kick-start professional cricket in the absence of spectators.

England’s international summer starts with the Test assignment against West Indies beginning June 4 at the Oval while they are also scheduled to take on Australia and Pakistan in subsequent months.

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

This would involve creating a “safe and sterile environment” in stadiums in line with the government protocols on precautionary health measures.

“The advice around mass gatherings was 500 people or fewer. That was guided by the potential impact on critical services like paramedics and doctors,” he stated.

“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.”

The concept of matches taking place behind closed doors is not unusual since the first ODI between New Zealand and Australia and a few games in the Pakistan Super League were held amidst empty stands earlier this month.

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