With England taking on visiting West Indies team for a three match Test series, the International Cricket finally returned to the field after a long gap of almost 4 and half month on Wednesday. However, it wasn’t one of the best returns to the Cricket as the English rain kept pouring down for most of the day.
Here he video of Ben Stokes
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But more importantly, the Cricket World is proud of ECB and West Indies Cricket Board for staging a series midst of a global pandemic. It takes a lot of courage and preparations to host a match in such precarious situations and on that part both ECB and WICB have stood tall against every situation. From ensuring the bio-secure environment to following new ICC rules to starting on a positive note, ECB has done everything perfectly to ensure the return of Cricket in its own country.
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Now, after starting on a positive note, the next three weeks are of utmost importance as the world cricket order would be keeping a hawk eye on this series. If successful, this series will set a template to follow in Cricket- post CoViD-19. And if it fails, I fear, the world would watch cricket anytime soon as the ECB’s future endeavours- against Ireland and Pakistan and a proposed one against Australia – will all suffer a huge setback.
Apart from the Cricket boards, this will be also be a testing time for both Players and Umpires on the field. With a number of ruled being changed by ICC, there can be no saliva on the ball – though sweat is permitted – or spectators or music between the overs in the ground. Also, the Umpires will from hosting nation due to ban on international travel, however, for this ICC has compensated by increasing number of reviews per innings. But all over, the Cricket, on the field will become sober, a little slumber and definitely less noisy for some time now.
Coming to the match, in a day full of rain interruptions, the return to the Cricket only witnessed a handful of some 17 overs on first day. The English stand in captain Ben Stokes elected to bat first after a curtailed start. However, their opening bows continued to haunt them even after a prolonged gap as opener Dominic Sibley was knocked out by Shannon Gabriel in his very first over. England were 35/1 at the stumps on day 1.