Coronavirus wrap: Revamped sporting summer continues to take shape

PA Sport Staff
PA Media: Sport

Sports fans were given more dates for their diaries following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown as two Formula One grands prix at Silverstone and an England Test series were confirmed.

England will host three closed-doors Tests against the West Indies, subject to Government approval. They will begin at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl on July 8 before moving to Old Trafford for Tests starting on July 16 and July 24.

The West Indies team, which agreed in principle to take part in the series last week, is scheduled to travel to England on June 9, and will be based at Old Trafford for quarantine and training.

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England and Wales Cricket Board director of events Steve Elworthy said: “We are in daily dialogue with Government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period.

“We would like to thank Cricket West Indies for their co-operation and dedication in making this tour a reality, and we all look forward to the prospect of cricket returning in the coming weeks.”

The series had originally been scheduled to take place this month with Lord’s among the host grounds, but Old Trafford is deemed a more suitable bio-secure venue.

Silverstone will host back-to-back races on August 2 and 9 as Formula One returns with an eight-race closed-doors European schedule.

The FIA, motor sport’s governing body, has approved plans for the campaign to begin with successive races at Austria’s Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on July 5 and 12 before the Hungarian Grand Prix takes place a week later. The British Grand Prix and the Formula One 70th Anniversary Grand Prix will then take place at Silverstone before further events in Spain, Belgium and Italy.

Participants will be required to travel on charter flights and undergo regular testing while Silverstone’s place on the calendar has been confirmed as the UK Government prepares to announce an exemption for elite sports amid plans for international arrivals to go into a 14-day quarantine.

An F1 statement read: “Due to the ongoing fluidity of the Covid-19 situation internationally, we will be finalising the details of the wider calendar and hope to publish that in the coming weeks with an expectation of having a total of 15-18 races before we complete our season in December.”

England’s leading rugby union clubs have been given the green light to resume training. Premiership and Championship teams received provisional authorisation to begin non-contact training from the Professional Game Board, subject to meeting safety criteria.

Clubs must educate all players and support staff to ensure they can make an informed decision on whether to restart training. They must also appoint a Covid-19 manager and a medical lead, set out hygiene standards for training facilities, provide appropriate personal protective equipment and conduct daily screening, including temperature checks.

Darren Childs, chief executive of Premiership Rugby said: “I know our clubs and players are looking forward to getting back to training and we thank all the teams for their patience as we ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing is our paramount concern.”

Elite sport’s return continued on Tuesday with race meetings at Newcastle and Kempton and the second day of snooker’s Championship League in Milton Keynes.

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