The 2021 county cricket season starts on April 8, with the first lot of games to be played behind closed doors, but ECB managing director of county cricket, Neil Snowball, says that from May 17 “we can get the venues back to 25 per cent and that is exactly what they are gearing up for”
By Press Association
Last Updated: 30/03/21 4:49pm
The England and Wales Cricket Board is exploring the possibility of using coronavirus passports to allow fans into County Championship games this summer.
The new domestic season starts on April 8 but crowds will not be allowed in until at least May 17 as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
The ECB is open to any measure necessary to get spectators back in the grounds as soon as possible, including fans having to prove they have been vaccinated.
The ECB’s managing director of county cricket Neil Snowball said: “There has been a lot of talk. We have gone from no passports to suddenly now looking at a Covid certification.
“We will explore anything that enables us to get our members back and our spectators back. At the moment it looks like that might happen.
“If you look at the June 21, it is going to be a question of balancing three things. One, if there is going to be some sort of passport or Covid certification, second is testing, third is some sort of social distancing and we have said we will do whatever we are asked to do to make sure we can get the maximum number of people back.
“The ideal would be some sort of certification with an element of social distancing and probably wearing masks.
“The first lot of games will be behind closed doors. From May 17, as per the roadmap, we can get the venues back to 25 per cent and that is exactly what they are gearing up for.
“We are trying to be as optimistic as we can about June 21, the demand for tickets has been huge and venues will be trying to get maximum crowds in.
“We will know about a month out. I am really hopeful we can get significant crowds back.”
The ECB confirmed teams will again be awarded eight points for a winning draw in this year’s County Championship. The change, brought in because of last season’s truncated campaign, will remain to incentivise the draw.