The Indian women’s cricket team’s away tour of England, scheduled for June this year, is unlikely to go ahead on schedule as the world continues to grapple with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, the England and Wales Cricket Board hoped that the homes series against India will be completed at some stage this summer.
India are due to play two T20Is and four ODIs in England from June 25 to July 9, after which England are to play South Africa on September 1 while India has no fixed engagement as of now. Therefore, the series can be pushed back to July or August, especially if the inaugural season of the Hundred is curtailed, continued the report.
India and England last played at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in March. Since then, all cricket has come to a halt due to the pandemic. The Women’s T20 Challenge, to be played alongside the Indian Premier League knockouts in May, is also unlikely.
Meanwhile, ECB has assured that the £20m it has pledged to invest in women’s and girls’ cricket over the next two years will still be used for the purpose. With increasing pay cuts and financial crisis in sports due to coronavirus, there were fears that this investment in women’s cricket will be affected.
However, the cricket body has said that amount will be same even as timelines logistics are changed.
“The ECB remains committed to the transforming women’s and girls’ cricket action plan, despite the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic,” an ECB spokesperson was quoted as saying by the website.
“In light of the current health crisis we need to re-evaluate the logistics of the first year of the new elite domestic structure, both on the field and off the field – including player and staff recruitment, and fixture dates.
“We are currently collaborating closely with our regional hosts and modelling a range of alternative scenarios, including a later start to the season and a reduced season. Although it is not yet on the agenda, a postponement of the first year of elite domestic structure fixtures is also a scenario that may need to come under consideration.
“The board’s initial two-year investment into this long-term plan remains unaffected and close discussions with our regional hosts will continue as the situation becomes clearer.”
The England women’s cricket has already voluntarily taken a pay cut for three months (April, May and June) in line with their coaches and support staff..
The men’s centrally contracted cricketers have agreed to make an “initial donation” of £5,00,000 ($6,12,000) in response to the financial crisis engulfing the game. The contribution is said to be the “equivalent of all of the England centrally contracted players taking a 20% reduction in their monthly retainers for the next three months”.