Pakistan is ready to intervene if the series collapses behind closed doors in England with the West Indies
Pakistan ready to intervene when the three-game series behind closed doors in England against the West Indies collapses … with Edgbaston as the likely location
- England could meet Pakistan if a series of three games with the West Indies collapse
- Organizing those contests is complex given the current coronavirus pandemic
- Pakistan would like to stay in England this summer to fill in
- Edgbaston in Birmingham has been earmarked as England faces Pakistan
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Pakistan would be willing to extend their UK tour this summer if the scheduled three-game series against the West Indies is canceled.
The ECB has worked on numerous contingency plans in its efforts to save as much international cricket as possible Sports email can reveal that Pakistan was asked about the feasibility of playing a fourth test here – in Edgbaston from July 24 – last month.
They will currently contest three Tests and three Twenty20 internationals in August, but are open to longer stays.
Pakistan would be willing to play a fourth test against England this summer if the planned series of three games against the West Indies is canceled due to travel restrictions
The ECB wants Jason Holder’s Windies to participate in a series of three games behind closed doors
The priority remains to get the West Indies here in July for three games that count towards the World Championship tests.
But due to its complexity, the series is far from certain, even though the British government gives the green light for playing in a biosafe environment.
West Indian players come from multiple Caribbean countries, meaning different governments are involved in ratification after a board-level tour succeeds. It is unlikely to be an easy process and the time is relatively short given the July 8 work date for the first test.
The English Test side wants to pack up the summer, but doubts remain about the feasibility of all this
Cricket West Indies are keen to continue helping its English counterparts, who face a £ 380 million black hole in their finances if cricket isn’t played in the 2020 season.
Despite the pledge, however, last Friday’s Zoom meeting between the two boards was not as positive as some had expected, and the content did not go much further than specifying the background against which games could be played.
The Ageas Bowl in Southampton and Manchester’s Old Trafford in Manchester are the preferred locations for up to six tests, as both hotels have on-site hotels, but the ECB has invited provinces to pitch for the rights to hold competitions and news from the offer Pakistan’s hierarchy suggests see Edgbaston as a viable alternative.
Accommodation should be arranged nearby, but the spacious layout of the Birmingham venue – with its four locker rooms, multiple entrances to the road, separate nets and a nursery where practice matches can be played – would be an important factor in getting players into their cocoon to keep own group. It also houses a COVID-19 test center in its huge parking lot.
Pakistan mobilizes a 25-man squad to travel and warms up an internal game for each series.
Edgbaston is earmarked as a potential location if Pakistan occupies the position of the West Indies
The circuit board is known to be admissible if requested to extend the series to four or five games, as long as government, medical advice and schedules allow. Given the 14-day self-isolation period that the UK authorities require from foreign visitors, they expect it to arrive three weeks before competition.
Their flexibility has one limitation: they will be playing twin Twenty20s in Ireland on July 12 and 14. Given the logistics, however, there is a good chance that the trip will run the same as the one-day series to which they played in the Netherlands between July 4-9. It was dropped last month after the Dutch government banned all sporting events in the country until September 1.
ECB and PCB medical agents are in weekly contact and a video meeting between Tom Harrison, Ashley Giles and their counterparts in Pakistan is scheduled for May 18.
Talks with the CWI are also scheduled for that week, as the government hopes to have indicated by then when the sport can get back on its feet.