Angus Fraser open to 2020 season extension until October "if that's what it takes"

The former England seamer and current Middlesex managing director says the game has to make the best of a difficult situation amid the coronavirus crisis


Middlesex managing director and ex-England seamer Angus Fraser is open to the domestic season being extended into October for the first time in its history.

The global coronavirus pandemic is set to lead to the campaign being heavily disrupted, with hundreds of sporting events over the coming months postponed and cancelled due to the outbreak.

County chiefs are discussing with the ECB over how to respond to the crisis. The range of options being discussed includes competitions downscaling, an extension to the season beyond the scheduled finish date of September 25 or the campaign being discarded completely.

Central to any plans will be the ECB's desire to stage fixtures included in the current broadcast rights deal, a £1.1 billion package which runs between 2020-24. The T20 Blast remains a major cash cow for counties while the governing body invested significantly in The Hundred which is seen as a key aspect of the summer.

Fraser feels the game should do whatever it can to accommodate major changes to the calendar and ensure as much cricket as possible is played during the available windows.

"We can't play cricket in November, December, but there is talk about the season carrying on until the middle of October - and fair enough, if that's what it takes for the game to fulfil its obligations," he told Sky Sports.

James Anderson anxious as COVID-19 pandemic threatens season prospects

"The first priority for everybody is the greater social well-being of the community. But if we can carry on playing cricket till the middle of October - if that's what it takes for us, then that's what needs to be done.

"I don't think any club is going to be unaffected by this. Every club is going to be affected in some way, shape or form.

"Michael Atherton has written in The Times, it's a lot about survival; how can we best get through this incredibly difficult period, with the players, the spectators and with the game coming out of it in the best health it can."

Scientific advisers to the UK government have advised that the peak of the virus outbreak could come in early June. While the Championship season is due to kick-off on April 12, the T20 Blast will begin on May 28. The downgraded One-Day Cup and The Hundred have been pencilled in for mid-July.



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