Players to return to training from June 22, confirms ECB

England players agree for paycut

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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed on Friday (May 29) that England will return to training from June 22.

This comes as a welcome news, after Heather Knight earlier in the week said that she had faith in ECB’s plans for women’s cricket. However, with not many ground in England meeting bio-secure standards, there are very limited options available to stage international cricket. The further details in terms of logistics are awaited. England’s men’s players had returned to training last week and they’re targeting returning to action in July with a Test series against Pakistan.

As per the original schedule, India were to tour England in late June but that was postponed in the wake of COVID-19. South Africa were to visit England in September. While the ECB has been in touch with the Board of Control for Cricket in India as well as Cricket South Africa, The Telegraph reported that the series against Proteas – comprising four ODIs and two T20Is – could still go ahead as scheduled. Clare Connor, England women's director of cricket, had said that a tri-series could be a possibility.

The training date is the only positive news from England’s camp as far as women’s cricket is concerned. The start of the domestic season was pushed back to August 1 just a few days ago. Moreover, there are no details about the domestic competitions to be held this season, after the ECB’s decision to end the Women’s Cricket Super League (WCSL) and The Hundred’s postponement. There is a regional competition in the offing but details about that are yet unclear.

It’s almost a year now that any women’s cricket was played on English soil – the WCSL being the last. When the players return to training, it will be the first time they do so since their T20 World Cup semi-final exit on March 5.