England’s white-ball series against Australia set to be pushed back from July until September due to coronavirus crisis
- Eoin Morgan’s side are scheduled to face Australia in two white-ball series in July
- They are due to face the Aussies in three T20s and three one-day games
- ECB have put forward new dates in a bid to stage matches in front of crowds
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
England’s two white-ball series against Australia are set to be postponed from July until September.
Eoin Morgan’s side are scheduled to face the Aussies in three Twenty20s and three one-day internationals from July 3-16.
But Sportsmail understands the ECB have put forward new dates to Cricket Australia in a bid to be able to stage those six matches in front of crowds.
England’s two white-ball series against Australia is set to be delayed until September
The working plans are to ‘lift and drop’ Australia’s tour by exactly two months, with the first T20 taking place on September 4 at Durham’s Emirates Riverside.
That would be followed by T20s at Old Trafford and Headingley, before ODIs at Lord’s, the Ageas Bowl and Bristol, replicating the original schedule for July.
The series would come straight off the back of England’s T20 series with Pakistan, which is due to finish on September 2.
And it would mean England’s three ODIs against Ireland, scheduled from September 10-15, would likely be scrapped.
The Aussie matches would be completed in time for England to go on their limited-overs tour of India, although their scheduled departure date of September 16 may have to be delayed by a day.
Sportsmail understands Cricket Australia accept there is now no chance of their team travelling to England in July and they are receptive to the new dates.
Australia are desperate for 20-over matches to prepare for their home T20 World Cup, which begins in October. But it is understood the Aussies are worried that if they tour England they might have to be quarantined for two weeks when they return, which would be a major setback to their World Cup plans.
The ECB believe delaying the Aussies’ arrival by two months gives them more freedom to move England’s Test series against West Indies, due to start on June 4, without having to stage Test and ODI matches on the same day.
Eoin Morgan’s side are scheduled to face the Aussies in three T20s and three one-day games
If the three Windies Tests are pushed back to the start of July, they will almost certainly have to be played behind closed doors at a ‘bio-secure’ ground, such as the Ageas Bowl or Old Trafford.
There is a chance all England’s internationals this summer – including those against Australia even in the proposed new September slot – have to be played without fans at a bio-secure venue if the Government does not lift its ban on mass gatherings until much later in the year.
However, the ECB believe moving the games against Australia to September is the best chance of spectators being allowed to attend, which would be a boost to the finances of the six grounds staging the games.
The Professional Game Group, an advisory committee which includes four county chief executives, are meeting on Wednesday to discuss the domestic schedule.
They will put forward their recommendations to the ECB board, who are holding a critical meeting on Friday and are set to confirm the launch of The Hundred is being postponed until 2021.
It is also likely to be announced that the start of T20 Blast is being pushed back until later in the summer, while the County Championship will be delayed again raising fears it may not take place at all this season.
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