England, West Indies set for 3 cricket tests in July

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              Head groundsman Craig Harvey tends to the outfield at the County Ground, home of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, in Northampton, England, Wednesday May 27, 2020.  Professional cricket teams are waiting to be given the green light to return to competitive sport following the highly contagious coronavirus pandemic. (Joe Giddens / PA via AP)
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LONDON (AP) — England and the West Indies will play three cricket tests in 21 days next month provided the British government gives the go-ahead for the matches to take place in “bio-secure environments” without spectators.

The West Indies will arrive in England on June 9 — nearly a month before the proposed first test of the series in Southampton from July 8-12 — so the squad can quarantine and train in Manchester, the England and Wales Cricket Board said Tuesday.

The other tests will be played in Manchester, starting on July 16 and July 24.

“We are in daily dialogue with the government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period,” said Steve Elworthy, the ECB’s director of events. “These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to U.K. government approval.”

No domestic cricket will be played in Britain before Aug. 1 at the earliest because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cricket West Indies agreed in principle to tour last Friday.

England said the venues — the Aegas Bowl in Southampton and Old Trafford in Manchester — were chosen because they had hotels attached or nearby and could be turned into bio-secure environments.

The ECB said a decision about a test series against Pakistan, and limited-overs matches Pakistan, Australia and Ireland, will be decided later.

The test series against the West Indies was originally scheduled to begin on Thursday.