LONDON July 8: Cricket will be more than just a game when it makes its return on Wednesday at the Ageas Bowl when England plays the West Indies in the world’s first Test match since the start of March because of the coronavirus pandemic.Much of the talk before the Test has been around the bio-bubble which has been created to serve as a safe environment for the stakeholders and also a lay the blueprint for future matches and tours.
“If you get one thing wrong, it might blow this whole ‘getting sport back onto the radar’ further back,” England stand-in captain Ben Stokes said on Tuesday in his eve-of-game news conference.
“I know everyone has been craving this from a player’s point of view,” he said before adding, “but also I think from a spectator’s and fan’s point of view,” he added.
Cricket’s oldest format kicks off a very new era for the sport. One where there are no spectators at matches, one-way systems inside venues to maintain distancing, twice-weekly testing for coronavirus, and players not allowed out of their hotels.
TV viewers will have the choice of adding a so-called “Lord’s hum” during coverage, but there will be no artificial crowd noise in the ground or music between overs, ensuring an eerie silence once the match begins except for selective announcements over the public address system about things such as milestones or bowling changes.
The big screens around the venue will show key highlights, DRS and sponsor messages.