West Indies Tour of England: All you need to know about bio-secure stadiums

The revival of cricket has brought a wave of sheer joy across the globe as the fans wait with baited breaths to catch the action go down. However, in the wake of the pandemic, new and improvised methods have been undertaken to minimise risks.

With the use of bio-secure venues for cricket matches, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is aiming to conduct the tournament, the successful completion of which will set a precedent for future tournaments.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has planned to host the first Test in Southampton and the next two in Manchester, to ensure bio-security. The visiting squad will remain in quarantine for at least three weeks before the first Test. Other attendees like match officials, broadcasters and other staff will also have to adhere to the norms.

Initially, the matches were scheduled to be played before crowds at The Oval, Edgbaston and Lord’s but had to be shifted amid COVID-19 scare. The matches will now take place at Ageas Bowl and the Old Trafford since both venues have on-site hotels.

This ensures that no team bus or player steps out of the bio-secured area. With the matches will happen behind closed doors, the audience on television will witness some unprecedented changes, like saliva ban and allowing replacement of players who display COVID-19 symptoms.

Not just ECB, even the South Africa cricket board has also suggested that the scheduled tour by India can be tried out in a bio-secure environment.

The West Indies tour of England will see three Tests starting on July 8, and marks the return of cricket following an almost four-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first of the three-Test series will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, while the Old Trafford in Manchester will host the next two Tests in a bio-secure environment.