London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday (April 24) announced that no professional cricket matches will be played in England and Wales until July 1 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Due to the rapid spread of the virus around the world, all cricket matches have been suspended. In India, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) has been indefinitely suspended.

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The ECB Board approved various measures. It said, “Professional cricket will not be played in England and Wales until at least 1 July. Nine rounds of fixtures will be lost in the County Championship season, but blocks for red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket will be held in a revised schedule.

“The Vitality Blast will be pushed as late in the season as possible to give it the best opportunity of being staged. All matches previously scheduled in June will be moved later in the season. International cricket, featuring England men’s and women’s teams, will look to be scheduled from July until the end of September, with the West Indies Test Series and the whole women’s series against India (Vitality IT20s and Royal London ODIs) both moving from their original slots. An additional Board meeting will be scheduled next Wednesday on The Hundred, following a request to dedicate a further session to the competition.”

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ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said, “Our role as a national governing body during a crisis of this scale requires us to carefully plan alongside cricket’s stakeholders and supporters to attempt to overcome COVID-19’s impact on this season.”

“Our biggest challenge, along with other sports, is how we could seek to implement a bio-secure solution that offers optimum safety and security for all concerned. The guidance we receive from Westminster will help us shape how we deliver this. Our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play,” he added.