Coronavirus wrap: League Two wrapped up as cricket adapts new rules

PA Sport Staff
PA Media: Sport

Swindon have been declared Sky Bet League Two champions after English Football League’s bottom tier was curtailed by the coronavirus crisis, while cricket has adapted some rules to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

League Two clubs almost unanimously voted to end the season, with Crewe and Plymouth also promoted and promotion play-offs starting on June 18.

Relegation is still to be decided with Stevenage bottom but Macclesfield facing a potential points deduction and the National League still to confirm whether its campaign will go ahead.

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EFL clubs had earlier voted to accept the league board’s framework to keep promotion, relegation and the play-offs and use an unweighted points-per-game system to decide the final table if the season was curtailed.

Barnsley and Tranmere had set out alternative plans while three other clubs had proposed amendments but the board’s plan was ratified.

League One clubs will vote later on the fate of their campaign with the Championship due to resume on June 20.

The International Cricket Council announced that Test teams would be allowed to substitute players displaying Covid-19 symptoms. Players will no longer be allowed to use saliva to shine a ball and the need for neutral umpires will temporarily be removed.

England and West Indies are due to kick-off Test cricket’s return on July 8 and the tourists arrived at Manchester Airport on Tuesday morning.

Every member of the 39-strong touring party, including 25 players, tested negative for Covid-19 before they set off on a charter flight and were due to be tested again at their ‘bio-secure’ living and training quarters at Emirates Old Trafford, where two of the three Tests will be held.

Pakistan have given a strong indication that they will follow West Indies by finalising their coaching staff for their tour of England, which had been due to kick off on July 30, but will need to be rearranged.

The Wales Rally GB, the penultimate leg of the World Rally Championship season, has been cancelled.

The race was set to run from October 29 to November 1 but the ongoing uncertainty and concerns surrounding safety and travel restrictions forced the event to be called off.

David Richards, chairman of Motorsport UK, said: “We have been closely monitoring the guidance issued by Government and it is becoming increasingly clear that it is impossible to make plans with any certainty for such major events in the autumn.”

The Evian Championship – the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association’s first major championship of the season – has also been shelved.

The tournament was scheduled to take place between August 6-9 at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France but organisers admitted defeat after being unable to ensure safety protocols could be carried out for players arriving from around the world.

The golfing calendar – both men’s and women’s – has been decimated by the global health crisis, although the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas is set to take place this week behind closed doors on the PGA Tour.

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