THE England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended all professional cricket till May 28, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ECB took the decision following discussions with the First Class Counties, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA).

“It was agreed that, given the current information available, a seven-week delay to the start of the season is the most appropriate approach,” an ECB media statement said.

The Board also announced that it is working on three new options, including the three-Test series against West Indies, the T20 Cup and the women’s schedule against India, for a possible start in June, July or August.

“Close liaison with the Government will continue, with discussions on the potential of starting the season behind closed doors and giving sports fans the opportunity to live broadcast action,”a statement said.

The ECB said it will meet as needed to review the position and make further decisions as the UK situation unfolds.

“During this period of deep uncertainty it is the ECB’s first priority to protect the wellbeing of everyone within the cricket family, from players, to fans and colleagues across the game,” ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said.

Last week, England’s tour of Sri Lanka was called off  mid tournament in view of the rising threat of the pandemic.

The COVID-19 global death toll has climbed past 11,000 with more than 250,000 infected. In UK, close to 4000 have tested positive so far and 177 died.