Details of second phase of pilots to test crowds return to sport
Details have been announced of the second phase of pilots at the Kia Oval and Edgbaston next weekend to test Government guidance for crowds returning to elite sport.
The first phase of the two pilots began yesterday with up to 1,000 spectators attending the Men’s county cricket friendly between Surrey and Middlesex at the Kia Oval, with social distancing measures in place. Edgbaston will also host up to 1,000 spectators tomorrow at the Men’s friendly between Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
The next phase of the pilots will now test the guidance further with larger crowds in attendance. Each ground will host up to 2,500 spectators per day for the first two days of their first matches of the Bob Willis Trophy on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 August. Surrey will be taking on Middlesex while Warwickshire face Northamptonshire.
The two cricket pilots were among a small number of sporting events announced by the Government for testing the safe return of spectators, with a view to reopening venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place, from October 2020.
Neil Snowball, ECB Managing Director of County Cricket, said: “We’re all excited about the start of the county cricket season, and of course we all miss not being able to go and watch as we normally would. These two pilots are an important step in testing the Government guidance and ensuring we can safely open our grounds again.”