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Emirates Old Trafford confirmed for more matches, sparks confidence for events business

Emirates Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl have been selected by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as the two venues that will host England Men’s international matches behind closed doors later this summer. They include matched against Ireland and Pakistan, and follow the two-Test series with the West Indies in July.

The Pakistan team, which arrived in the UK on 28 June, have started their preparation ahead of a packed schedule, which consists of three Test matches and three Vitality IT20s. They are undergoing a 14-day isolation period at Blackfinch New Road, Worcester before transferring to Derbyshire’s The Incora County Ground on 13 July for pre-Test preparations.

Read more: Venue prepares for reopening

Emirates Old Trafford will host the first Test of the series starting on 5 August. The final two Tests will be played at the Ageas Bowl on 13 August and 21 August.

The three Vitality IT20s will take place at Emirates Old Trafford on 28 August, 30 August and the final match of the tour on 1 September.

The Ireland ODI series will be staged at the Ageas Bowl between July and August.

The selection of the venue follows Emirates Old Trafford being named to host two out of three fixtures of the West Indies three-Test series and is supported by the on-site four-star, 150-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn.

The site has already had a number of safety protocols introduced, in conjunction with the ECB, while the West Indies squad quarantined at the venue, including; PPE for all players and staff on-site; social distancing measures and signage; updated food service procedures; rigorous deep cleaning procedures; regular Covid-19 testing and health questionnaires.

Emirates Old Trafford was the first venue to hold live sport since Covid-19 forced all sporting events on hold. Daniel Gidney, chief executive at Lancashire Cricket, said: “We have been working closely with the ECB to ensure that as a venue we are doing everything we can to facilitate the teams, staff, broadcasters and media in the safest possible environment and in doing so meeting the ever-changing international and Government guidelines.”

Gidney reiterated that the measures in place to ensure the safe running of sport would carry over to host business event. “We are now able to lead the way in terms of hosting events, adapt to the new procedures in place and create a blueprint for when we are able to welcome back events in the near future,” he added.