07 Jul

Viewers on Sky TV will experience a “Lord’s hum” during play in the three-Test series against the West Indies starting tomorrow, rather than the cheering and chanting used as a soundtrack for football matches.

Also because of strict coronavirus protocols, broadcasters will not be allowed to interview players at the side of the pitch so have installed a space behind the changing rooms at the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford for the Test series.

After discussions between England and West Indies yesterday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that it will play music over the in-ground PA system in the build-up to each day’s play. Music is also expected to be played during lunch and tea breaks.

There will be an announcer to signal bowling changes, team line-ups and the result of the toss, but there will not be the usual interviews by the television commentators. The grounds will also contain a big screen on which players will be able to see the scorecard, watch replays and keep track of third-umpire deliberations during DRS reviews.

Viewers at home will hear some background crowd noise, an unobtrusive, low-level “Lord’s hum” that has been taken from footage of previous Test matches. Unlike football matches, viewers will not hear roars at key moments, such as boundaries or wickets. Listeners to Test Match Special on BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra are also likely to hear this hum, but it is understood that the BBC will offer the option of listening without any crowd noise on its website.

Pakistan series confirmed
England are increasingly hopeful that the postponed limited-overs series against Australia will go ahead in September.

England yesterday confirmed the dates for a three-match one-day international series against Ireland and three Tests and three T20s against Pakistan this summer. It is hoped that a series against the Australians will follow. The schedule means that the ODI and Test teams will be in action on consecutive days.

All three matches against Ireland will be day-night matches, played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, on July 30, August 1 and August 4. That will be immediately followed by the first Test against Pakistan, starting at Emirates Old Trafford on August 5. The second and third Tests will be played in Southampton.

The ECB is also hopeful of a biosecure tri-series for England’s women’s team against South Africa and India in September.

England’s summer
Test series v West Indies

July 8-12 First Test, Ageas Bowl
July 16-20 Second Test, Old Trafford July 24-28 Third Test, Old Trafford

ODI series v Ireland
July 30 First ODI, Ageas Bowl
Aug 1 Second ODI, Ageas Bowl
Aug 4 Third ODI, Ageas Bowl

Test series v Pakistan
Aug 5-9 First Test, Old Trafford
Aug 13-17 Second Test, Ageas Bowl Aug 21-25 Third Test, Ageas Bowl

T20 series v Pakistan
Aug 28 First T20, Ageas Bowl
Aug 30 Second T20, Ageas Bowl Sept 1 Third T20, Ageas Bowl

To be decided
Three ODIs and three T20s v Australia
All fixtures subject to change

John Stephenson


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