The return of county cricket has come a step closer after Surrey announced a two-day red-ball game against Middlesex at the Kia Oval on July 26 and 27.
Both clubs are treating the match – which will be streamed live on Surrey’s website and Facebook page, and remains subject to government guidelines – as a pre-season friendly, with the domestic game still hopeful of starting the new season on August 1.
The game, which will be behind closed doors, will be broadcast via six cameras, part of Surrey’s attempts to beef up coverage of their home fixtures.
The Kia Oval is set to host a pre-season match between Surrey and Middlesex on July 26-27
While England are set to start their international summer on July 8 with a three-Test series against the West Indies, the domestic season has been delayed until at least the start of August because of coronavirus.
The England and Wales Cricket Board is hopeful a championship programme can be staged, even if the T20 Blast will take priority, and to that end Surrey’s red-ball fixture against their London rivals is welcome news.
Surrey hope the game is a precursor to ‘returning to competitive action the following weekend’.
England will return to Test action with a series against West Indies starting on July 8
Alec Stewart, Surrey director of cricket, said: ‘I’m really excited to hopefully see cricket return to the Kia Oval at the end of July and then for the rest of the season.’
Surrey’s announcement also seems to indicate Middlesex are preparing to bring their players out of furlough.
Surrey and Lancashire are the only two counties who have not turned to the Government’s job-retention scheme for any of their playing staff in recent months.
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