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Cricket fans ‘hoping and praying’ Cheltenham Cricket Festival will go ahead

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 23rd March 2020, 14:20

The Cheltenham Cricket Festival is scheduled to start on 29th June The Cheltenham Cricket Festival is scheduled to start on 29th June

Cricket fans the length and breadth of Gloucestershire are desperately hoping that this year’s Cheltenham Cricket Festival at the end of June and beginning of July will still be able to go ahead.

For many it is the highlight of the sporting summer but after the announcement at the end of last week that the county season is being delayed until at least 28th May, there are obvious concerns.

“We’re hoping and praying,” said Chris Coley, a big Gloucestershire supporter who has done so much for the Festival over the years.

“Obviously we all want it to go ahead with its original schedule – two four-day games and two T20 matches – but it’s all up in the air.

“Anything is possible, we could end up just getting a truncated Festival.”

That could mean just a couple of T20 games depending on if, and when, cricket gets under way in 2020.

Gloucestershire are due to play Hampshire (29th June) and Yorkshire (5th July) in the county championship at Cheltenham with T20 games against Sussex (Friday 3rd July) and Kent (Thursday 9th July), also at Cheltenham College.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said work had started on possible revised schedules to begin in June, July or August, covering international and domestic matches.

The county championship was due to begin on 12th April while the lucrative T20 tournament is scheduled to start on 28th May.

The ECB has also recommended all forms of recreational cricket be suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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