The last that anyone saw international cricket was back in March 13. This last contest was actually in the ODI format and that involved two of the most exasperating and talented sides: Australia and New Zealand. It was all going Australia’s way and the series could’ve been theirs had the lockdown not had happened. Or we don’t know! Knowing their quintessential fighting abilities, who knows, New Zealand could’ve well-fought their way back into their tour of Australia.
But none of that matters now.
What matters are dry eyes that remain ever buried in the hope of seeing the resumption of cricket. Although, two and a half months since, there’s yet no confirmation as to when might active international cricket hit us back with all that usual thrill and unparalleled entertainment.
All that remains of cricket (a game we so love, and in the absence of which millions-regardless of who they are and where they are, cannot imagine their lives) is hope for a return. Although, when’s that happening, none know.
But some official word is out.
It appears that with the official tour of the West Indies to England, one might see Cricket emerge on the horizon again from the currently imposed state of deadlock.
Since, if you were to think about it- it’s already been quite a while since one saw any cricket, whatsoever.
All that remains on our television screens at this time are just highlights- great that they may be- about past series and previous tournaments. Beyond a point and with due hands-folded respect, it doesn’t help much to see full-fledged repeat telecasts of the IPL matches.
So much for the bright yellow and the navy blue jerseys under eye-popping night lights- right?
But if the West Indies do happen to tour England, which will, if at all, be for a 3-match Test series, we will see resumption of cricket and something more important than that; a resumption of the Wisden trophy, a particularly intriguing cricketing contest that first struck us back in 1963!
For now, the word from the Caribbean is that the officials are already on their way toward securing all sorts of clearances that will be required to make this tour happen.
And it’s also known that on their part, the ECB are also busy finalizing the set of venues, which, it turns out may be a choice between 2 to 3 grounds, which are known to have boarding facilities for the visitors to lock themselves in, instead of having to travel deep inside a city and carry the risk of contracting or spreading any kind of infection.
Meanwhile, the West Indies, who had won the last time they squared off against Joe Root-led team back in 2018, would be aware of the significance of colliding with the English on their own turf.
On their part they will be curious to have the likes of Shemron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Roston Chase and out-of-form opener (also vice-captain) Kraigg Brathwaite score some useful runs.
Interestingly, a fitness camp was also organized back in the Caribbean recently and the coaches are already working out with members of the squad that are expected to travel to England.
For now, we can only hope that the ‘bio-secure’ venues get the right tick by the ECB, since for safety purposes, this is going to be the resumption of cricket ‘behind closed doors!’