The ECB has announced that no professional cricket will be played in England and Wales until at least July 1 because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The extended delay, pushed back from the original May 28 timeframe, means the Test Series between England and West Indies has now been postponed.
It also means nine rounds of fixtures in the County Championship will be lost, while the T20 Blast will be pushed back to later in the season to give it the best chance of going ahead under a revised schedule.
The future of the ECB’s inaugural The Hundred season will now be discussed at a board meeting on Wednesday 29th April.
ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “Our role as a national governing body during a crisis of this scale requires us to carefully plan alongside cricket’s stakeholders and supporters to attempt to overcome COVID-19’s impact on this season.
“As much as we remain hopeful that we can deliver some cricket this summer, we are in the midst of a worldwide crisis and our priority – over and above the playing of professional sport – will be to protect the vulnerable, key workers and society as a whole.
“That’s why, simply put, there will be no cricket unless it’s safe to play. Our schedule will only go ahead if Government guidance permits.”
Planning to reschedule international matches
Harrison says the ECB is working to rearrange international matches and giving the T20 Blast the best chance of happening by allocating it the latest possible slot in the calendar.
He added: “Our biggest challenge, along with other sports, is how we could seek to implement a bio-secure solution that offers optimum safety and security for all concerned. The guidance we receive from Westminster will help us shape how we deliver this.
“Our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play.
“The Vitality Blast will also now occupy the latest possible season slot to offer as much time as possible to play a County short-form competition.
“I want to thank everyone involved in this complex and sensitive work. There have clearly never been times like this and my colleagues at the ECB and across the game have been exemplary in this period. It has been refreshing, but not surprising, to see how cricket has come together.”