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Cautious optimism from county cricket as government points to return of spectators

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Cautious optimism from county cricket as government points to return

Relief and cautious optimism appear to be the dominant reactions from around the English game, after Boris Johnson announced the UK’s intended roadmap out of lockdown.

With Prime Minister Johnson outlining his intention to lift all restrictions on social contact from June 21, English cricket can look forward to the realistic prospect of full-house crowds for the Test series against India (which starts in August) and the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan (which get underway on June 23). Recreational cricket should also be able to resume from March 29, boosting hopes of an uninterrupted season for club and school cricket.

There are various caveats in place should a new wave of Covid-19 take hold. However, it currently seems likely that grounds will be able to welcome crowds to the inaugural season of The Hundred (which starts in mid-July) and the majority of The T20 Blast (which starts in mid-June).

“It seems like good news for cricket fans,” Surrey’s chief executive, Richard Gould, said.

The changes would appear to come too late to allow full houses for England’s Test series against New Zealand, however. The first Test gets underway at Lord’s on June 2 with the second Test following at Edgbaston on June 10. Government guidelines currently state that outdoor seated events will be able to operate with 25 percent capacity from May 17. There will also be constraints on indoor hospitality, which is generally a crucial source of revenue at such events.

It is possible, however, that Lord’s and Edgbaston will argue their Tests should be viewed as pilot events for the return of full crowds and, as such, request that 50 percent capacity is permitted. It is likely that discussion on the subject will take place between the game’s representatives and The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in the coming weeks.

There could be a similar request in regard to County Championship spectators. Although the competition generally attracts a modest number of spectators – a maximum of 3,000 might be expected for a typical day’s play at an early-season match – attendance is probably disproportionately important to many county members, whose fees continue to play a crucial part in the survival of some clubs. News that they will not, at present, be able to attend matches before May 17 will therefore result in frustration.

At present, shops, outdoor zoos and theme parks will be permitted to open from April 12. Cricket is sure to argue that it seems illogical to allow shoppers indoors but prevent a modest number of county cricket spectators watching a match while sitting outdoors. As a result, the ECB may request permission to hold trial events during this period which could result in a limited number of spectators attending Championship games before May 17. The County Championship season is scheduled to start on April 8.

“With outdoor leisure attractions like Thorpe Park, London Zoo and pub beer gardens all allowed to reopen on Monday April 12th, we very much hope that we will be permitted to open up the Kia Oval to some Surrey Members for our first home game of the season, three days later,” Gould said.

“After this, we will continue with a phased reopening of the ground, working towards the government’s subsequent key dates of Monday May 17th and Monday June 21st, when we host a T20 match against Essex.”

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1252644.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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EngVsPak- England defeated Pakistan by three wickets

Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

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EngVsPak

James Vince scored a hundred and Lewis Gregory contributed 77 as England defeated Pakistan by three wickets to complete a clean sweep of the three-match ODI series.

Vince raced to 102 off 95 deliveries and Gregory struck his 77 of 69 balls as hosts England, chasing Pakistan’s challenging score of 331 for seven wickets, reached 332 for seven with two overs to spare.

Opener Phil Salt scored 37 while skipper Ben Stokes added 32 as England held their nerves to register a comfortable win in third and final ODI.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam struck a career-best 158 (139-ball) and helped Pakistan’s batting finally came good in this series.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored 56 and Mohammad Rizwan 74 as Pakistan posted 331 for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Playing against a makeshift England squad, after the originally selected player went into isolation after three players tested positive for COVID-19, Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

Babar came in after Fakhar Zaman was out early for 6, caught by Zak Crawley off Saqib Mahmood. He raised 92 runs for the third wicket with opener Imam-ul-Haq and then put together a partnership of 179 with Rizwan.
However, they suffered a collapse soon after Rizwan was out, caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off seamer Brydon Carse, with the score 292/3. Only one of the remaining seven batsman managed to reach double digits.

But Babar kept blasting runs from the other end and was the eighth batsman out with the score 328 in the 50th over.

He struck 14 boundaries and four sixes during his innings.
Carse was the best England bowler on display as he claimed five wickets for 61 in his 10 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 331/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Babar Azam 158, M Rizwan 74; Brydon Carse 5/61).

England 332/7 in 48 overs (Phil Salt 37, James Vince 102, Ben Stokes 32, Lewis Gregory 77; Haris Rauf 4/65).

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Corona hit – India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

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Corona hit - India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

India’s tour of Sri Lanka has hit a roadblock after two Covid-19 positive cases in the home team’s camp delayed the start of the ODI series by at least four days, and canceled due to more cases. The possibility has been left open. Sri Lankan batting coach Grant Flower and the team’s performance analyst Shirantha Niroshna have both tested positive and the entire team that arrived from England this week has been put in isolation.

Though both the boards have not made any official statement yet, it seems that all the six matches will be played within a period of 10-11 days if there is no scope for any more positive cases. There are also concerns that the series could be called off if more positive cases emerge in the Sri Lankan camp. This means that the Indian team, which has already spent 12 days in Sri Lanka, will have to return home without playing a single match.

The tentative dates for the ODIs have been set as July 17, 19 and 21. The report states that the T20 Internationals will be played on July 24, 25 and 27. However, neither Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given any confirmation regarding the dates.

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

Just two months ago, Indonesia came forward to India’s aid with thousands of tanks of oxygen. Today, the Southeast Asian country is running out of oxygen as it grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus cases and the government is seeking emergency supplies from other countries, including Singapore and China.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response, said a shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health equipment arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia.

In addition, Pandjaitan said, Indonesia plans to purchase 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators — equipment that generates oxygen — from neighboring Singapore. He said he was in contact with China and other possible oxygen sources. The US and the United Arab Emirates have also offered help.

Overall, Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has reported more than 2.4 million infections and 63,760 deaths from COVID-19. Those figures are widely believed to be a huge undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures. On Thursday, Indonesia reported nearly 39,000 confirmed cases, its biggest single-day jump.

Indonesia’s hospitals have been flooded, with increasing numbers of sick people in isolation at home or waiting to receive emergency care. In Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, hospitals began setting up temporary intensive care units in mid-June. Many patients are waiting for several days to get admitted. Oxygen tanks rolled on the sidewalks for the lucky few, while others were told they’d have to find their own.

The city’s deputy mayor Yaya Mulyana said emergency rooms at a public hospital in Bandung city were closed earlier this week amid panic buying over rising infections in the West Java provincial capital.

“The panicked people bought oxygen tanks, though they didn’t need them yet,” said Muliana. “This has exhausted the supply of oxygen.”

At a hospital in Yogyakarta in central Java, 63 COVID-19 patients died in one day – 33 of them during its central liquid oxygen supply, although the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders was, spokesman Banu Harmawan said.

When a brutal outbreak ravaged the country, Indonesia donated 3,400 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to India. As its own cases rose, Jakarta scrapped plans to send another 2,000 oxygen concentrators to India in late June. The daily requirement of oxygen has reached 1,928 tonnes per day. According to government data, the total available production capacity of the country is 2,262 tonnes per day.

“I asked for 100% oxygen first for medical purposes, which means all industrial allocation should be shifted to medical,” said Panjaitan, a minister in the government. “We are racing against time, we have to act fast.”

Noting the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, he warned that Indonesia could face a worst-case scenario with 50,000 cases a day. The next two weeks will be crucial, he said.

The industry ministry responded by issuing a decree that all oxygen supplies be sent to hospitals packed with coronavirus patients and asked industry players to cooperate.

Oxygen is used to make many products including textiles, plastics and vehicles. Oil refineries, chemical makers and steel makers also use it. But industry leaders are clamoring to support government efforts to maximize supplies for hospitals.

The government has redirected oxygen supplies from industrial plants at Morowali in Central Sulawesi, Balikpapan on the island of Borneo, and Belawan and Batam on the island of Sumatra, Pandjaitan said. Small oxygen industries have also been directed to produce pharmaceutical oxygen.

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