The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has appointed CSM Live, the experience team of the CSM Sport and Entertainment agency, to deliver a ‘bio-secure’ plan for the return of international cricket.
The agency has helped to design bio-secure environments at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford arena, and training venues in Worcester and Derby to allow for the safe resumption of cricket on July 8 when the England men’s cricket team play the first of three closed-door test matches against the West Indies in the space of 21 days.
The bio-security measures include health check and sanitisation points for personnel, vehicle screen areas, welfare units, perimeter fencing, temporary walling, temporary accreditation checkpoints, as well as the production of all way-finding and signage at the venues.
A statement from the company said: “These measures are implemented to ensure that all stakeholders maintain a strict discipline of separation whilst on site. The venue is divided into zones with limited access to each zone (player/media/venue operations), which in some cases requires physical barriers, heath checks and new routes around the stadium.”
The ECB pushed back the start of the test series with the West Indies until July and has postponed the inaugural edition of The Hundred, it’s new city-based tournament, until 2021 as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
CSM Live chief executive Alastair Bewick said, “These are exceptionally challenging times and the return to ‘behind closed doors’ has been unlike anything we’ve seen before. Everybody wants to get back into stadiums and here the absolute priority is to reduce the risk of infection between all teams required to get cricket playing again.
“The ECB has proved that a co-ordinated strategy between all stakeholders can create a bio-secure venue. This does not eliminate every risk, but the measures implemented by the ECB and CSM Live make live sport a reality in difficult circumstances.
“The learnings from this phase will be the foundations for getting spectators back. How they are managed is complicated and needs consideration – it will require resources from the wider event industry but that journey has started.”
Phil Williams, ECB senior events presentation manager said, “CSM Live is a trusted partner whose consultancy and seamless delivery has been pivotal to us reaching the point we all wanted to reach – the return to international cricket.
“Together with CSM Live we have carefully considered the additional infrastructural requirements, new processes and implementation solutions, and they have helped us to deliver a set of measures aimed at preventing the introduction and/or spread of coronavirus under extremely challenging circumstances. These have included limited planning and production time, restrictions around travel to and from the sites, and regularly changing medical protocols which affected the infrastructure.”