Northants unveil plan to host reduced crowds in cricket's T20 Blast

Northants have won the T20 Blast on two occasions. Credit: PA

Northants chairman Gavin Warren says he's hopeful the club will be able to host some T20 Blast fixtures in front of reduced crowds this summer.

Like many sports, cricket has been suspended since March because of the coronavirus outbreak but the ECB are still optimistic some matches may be able to be played before the end of the season.

Northants have come up with a plan to allow some fans in the ground, with social-distancing measures in place.

The club estimate they could safely get 1,500 supporters in the stadium - well short of Wantage Road's 6,500 capacity.

Speaking to ITV News Anglia, Mr Warren said he would only push ahead with the plans if experts deem that it is safe to do so.

  • Watch an interview with Northants chairman Gavin Warren by ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward

"I'm not going to do anything until I know from Professor Bill Ribbans, our CMO (Chief Medical Officer), that he's fully comfortable, and Professor Nick Pearce, the ECB CMO, and if they say they're happy, then I'm happy," Mr Warren said.

"I'm not a medic so I go on professional advice and I'd want to be fully satisfied."

Northants say they've taken inspiration from NFL team Miami Dolphins who are hoping to allow 15,000 fans into their 65,000-seater stadium.

Mr Warrens admits implementing the measures would probably come at a financial cost though.

"What we're trying to do is do our upmost for the fans to try and get them to be able to see some live cricket," he said.

"The financial side is obviously key as well because if it's totally uneconomical, we'll resort to the TV coverage, but we're going to have a good look at it because we've got two months to plan it. You can sit here and do nothing or you can plan to put on the best show you can really."

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