The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Officials look into ‘sterile bubbles’ for action

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The England and Wales Cricket Board has indicated it could install coronaviru­s checkpoint­s and isolation units at grounds this summer in order to resume the game behind closed doors.

The ECB has said there will be no profession­al cricket until May 28 at the earliest, but it is stepping up its planning for a potential resumption of internatio­nal action with no spectators.

The ECB’s director of events Steve Elworthy said such an eventualit­y would essentiall­y require a sterile bubble to ensure the identifica­tion of anyone in the vicinity who was carrying the virus.

Elworthy said: “The advice around mass gatherings was 500 people or fewer, guided by the potential impact on critical services like paramedics

“Gate testing and isolation units are considerat­ions we are currently thinking about”

and doctors. You would likely have to work within that number (which would be made up of essential matchday staff ), then you have to think about medical provisions, creating a safe and sterile environmen­t around that venue, so that everyone who comes in is clear.

“So it’s how you test them at the gate, the isolation units you have to put in. These are considerat­ions we are thinking about.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan questioned the logic of extending behind-closeddoor­s cricket to domestic competitio­ns commenting: “The Hundred has been designed to bring in a new audience and if you are playing it behind closed doors, does that not defeat the point of it?

“Or has the ECB spent so much money on The Hundred and run down its reserves, it just has to play it regardless?

“My guess is that is the case.”

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