West Indies to tour England for five T20Is in late September
England are set to host West Indies for a five-match T20I series starting September 21, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Tuesday (August 25). The matches will be played behind closed doors in a bio-secure bubble at the Incora County Ground in Derbyshire.
“It’s so pleasing after many months of work and communication with colleagues across the international game that we are now able to confirm international cricket for England Women this summer,” said Clare Connor, MD of women’s cricket in the ECB.
“We’re grateful to the West Indies for the pace and determination with which they have worked with us over the last couple of weeks. It’s fantastic for the visibility of the women’s game that the third IT20 will be simulcast live on the BBC and Sky Sports and I hope that it’s an event that catches the attention of some new fans.”
“We’re all still adapting and will need to continue to adapt to the sporting landscape left by COVID-19. That does not mean that we will give any less focus to the women’s and girls’ game and we’re totally committed to continuing our ambitions in that area.”
England’s last international match was the washed out semi-final in the T20 World Cup against India. Post that they were to host India in June, which got pushed back to September, when even South Africa were to visit. That led to a planning of a tri-series, before India pulled out due to the increase in coronavirus cases in the subcontinent. Eventually, the Proteas, too, withdrew because of travel restrictions in their country.
“Protecting the momentum of the women’s game was one of our four stated aims right at the beginning of the pandemic in March and I’m delighted that, despite the enormous difficulties that COVID-19 has created, we’ll see England Women in action this summer,” said Tom Harrison, the CEO of ECB.
“It has been critical to us that our efforts to deliver bio-secure standards and support visiting opponents have been equal to those that have so successfully delivered in the England Men’s series. We are immensely grateful to the team at Derby who have supported this ambition throughout the summer with testing and now delivery.”
“There were 86,000 fans in attendance at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup final in March and the direction of travel in the women’s game in England and Wales has been relentlessly positive over the last few years. That momentum must continue despite the challenges of COVID-19, and we do not underestimate our role in driving that agenda.”
England have 24 players training in the bio-secure bubble. The board announced that they will be available for the first two rounds of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint (RHF) Trophy on August 29 and 31. The series has also meant that the final of the competition to be played on September 27 instead of September 26.
England’s squad for the series against West Indies would be announced beforehand, enabling those not a part of the side to return for the final rounds of the RHF Trophy.
Monday, September 21: 1st T20I
Wednesday, September 23: 2nd T20I
Saturday, September 26: 3rd T20I
Monday, September 28: 4th T20I
Wednesday, September 30: 5th T20I