India series uncertain but ECB ring-fences £20m investment into women’s game


England ladies’s dwelling sequence in opposition to India is unsure as a result of ongoing coronavirus pandemic, however the ECB stays hopeful that it will likely be potential for the tour to be accomplished at some stage this summer season.

India are as a consequence of play two T20Is and 4 ODIs in England, with the primary recreation of the tour scheduled for June 25, however with the variety of coronavirus-related deaths within the UK persevering with to rise at velocity and a few type of social distancing measures doubtless nonetheless to be in place, it seems unlikely that the sequence can be performed as deliberate.

All skilled cricket within the UK has been postponed until May 28 at the earliest, although there’s a rising acceptance that the date can be pushed again. Contingency planning for video games scheduled from June onwards is ongoing, however for now, the ECB stays hopeful that fixtures after that date could be fulfilled in some type as potential.

The tour is because of end on July 9, and England’s subsequent engagement is in opposition to South Africa on September 1, whereas India haven’t any confirmed fixtures after that sequence. Consequently, it might be potential to discover a window for the fixtures in July or August as crucial, significantly if the inaugural season of the Hundred is shortened or pushed again to 2021.

In the meantime, the ECB has ring-fenced the £20m it has pledged to invest in women’s and girls’ cricket over the subsequent two years as a part of its 2019 motion plan, allaying fears that funding could be lower as a result of monetary impression of the pandemic.

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A significant a part of that plan concerned the creation of eight semi-professional regional growth centres, with a 50-over competitors between the brand new groups as a consequence of begin in late August.

However the disaster has delayed the method of launching these centres, because the ECB re-evaluates the main points of the brand new home construction’s first full season. It stays unclear when and if it will likely be potential to stage video games this summer season, and as such varied completely different situations are being modelled.

The preliminary monetary dedication of £20million over two years leaves some room for flexibility – it appears doubtless that the majority of that funding will happen in 2021 – however the intention to honour that pledge is a lift for the ladies’s recreation at a time of uncertainty.

“The ECB stays dedicated to the reworking ladies’s and women’ cricket motion plan, regardless of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic,” an ECB spokesperson stated.

“In mild of the present well being disaster we have to re-evaluate the logistics of the primary yr of the brand new elite home construction, each on the sector and off the sector – together with participant and employees recruitment, and fixture dates.

“We’re at present collaborating carefully with our regional hosts and modelling a spread of other situations, together with a later begin to the season and a decreased season. Though it’s not but on the agenda, a postponement of the primary yr of elite home construction fixtures can also be a situation that will want to come back into account.

“The board’s preliminary two-year funding into this long-term plan stays unaffected and shut discussions with our regional hosts will proceed because the state of affairs turns into clearer.”

Final week, the England ladies’s squad announced that they have taken a pay cut for the subsequent three months, in step with their coaches and assist employees.

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