The Ageas Bowl To Host England Men’s Behind-Closed-Doors First Test Against West Indies

The home of Hampshire Cricket proposed venue for First Test against West Indies scheduled for 8-12 July

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today announced The Ageas Bowl will host England Men’s first Test against West Indies if international cricket returns behind closed doors in July. A further two Tests against West Indies will be held at Emirates Old Trafford.

The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, travelling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. This will be their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.

The ECB’s independent Host Venue Panel (HVP) recommended the use of two full matchday broadcast venues for the West Indies Test series. A decision on other scheduled matches for England Men and England Women this summer will be determined at a later date.

International venues were encouraged to submit their expressions of interest during a five-day window, based on several fundamental principles. Four venues submitted an interest in staging matches by the deadline of Monday 11 May, with the final recommendations for the use of the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford later ratified by the ECB Board.

Venues had to demonstrate key principles to create a bio-secure environment. The criteria comprised of:

The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford will receive an administration fee for staging the Test series and all additional central costs will be met by the ECB.

Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media.

We are in daily dialogue with Government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period. These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to UK Government approval.

We would like to thank Cricket West Indies for their co-operation and dedication in making this tour a reality, and we all look forward to the prospect of cricket returning in the coming weeks.

Steve Elworthy, ECB Director of Events

The HVP also confirmed that Edgbaston was selected as a contingency venue and will be used to stage additional training throughout July.

Staging these matches will help to protect vital revenue streams for our game from broadcast deals and will also give a morale boost to cricket fans everywhere, and I’m delighted that we have found a way of doing this in an environment that will be safe and secure for all involved.

In the current circumstances, the choice of venue is less important than making sure that the fixtures are actually played, and we are happy to be able to play our part in making this happen.

We look forward to welcoming the teams to the Ageas Bowl over the coming weeks.

David Mann, Ageas Bowl Chief Executive

The on-site, 171-bedroom Hilton at the Ageas Bowl will be the centre-piece of the Ageas Bowl’s ‘bio-secure’ environment. The hotel will benefit from Hilton’s newly announced CleanStay programme which will deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness from check-in to check-out.

Cricket is a symbol of British summertime so we are incredibly pleased to be able to play a part in supporting its safe and responsible return this summer. More than ever, we’ll be delighted to welcome the teams to Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, ensuring their stay is safe and comfortable so they can focus on their pre-match preparations.

Stephen Cassidy, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Hilton

Ticket purchasers for the original England v West Indies Test series will be entitled to a refund. From 2 June, the venues will begin contacting ticket buyers to inform them of the refund process as well as any other options available to them.

For all other fixtures (both domestic and international), the ECB is continuing to work with partners across the game to determine how best to schedule matches and would like to thank supporters for their patience during this process. Further information on international and domestic tickets refunds can be found here:  www.ecb.co.uk/refundscheme.

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