Jason Gillespie remains hopeful the ICC T20 World Cup will go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, while he sees a route for domestic cricket to not only survive but thrive in unprecedented circumstances.

The seventh edition of the T20 tournament is due to take place in Australia during October and November, though the ongoing global health crisis has raised logistical issues that have put the event in doubt.

Different guidelines will affect when players can return to practice due to the risks posed by COVID-19 in each country, while the international fixture list for 2020 has been decimated.

Then there are potential travel restrictions for those flying to Australia, with former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis proposing a two-week quarantine period for players both before and after the World Cup.

Gillespie insists it should only go ahead if all countries can participate, but expects contingency plans are being put in place in case it needs to be moved.

"I'm still hopeful that we can have a tournament in one form or another," the former Australia fast bowler told Stats Perform. "Whether it's on when it's scheduled is another conversation, I think.

"My gut feeling would be potentially to push it back a little bit, but at the moment, I'm still hopeful that all the teams participating can do that. That will come down to the administrators, the authorities, to make the right calls at the time.

"But I think, at the moment, because there is a bit of time, I think we can assume things will go ahead, but I’m sure, behind the scenes, there'll be Plan B and Plan C in any situation that can crop up."

Gillespie should have been busy in his role as head coach at Sussex at this stage of the year, yet the 2020 English county season remains on hold.

However, there is the potential for a positive to emerge from the situation, according to Gillespie, as domestic teams around the world may suddenly benefit from having international stars available on a more regular basis.

“I'm trying to put a positive spin on this situation, and I think the one thing I keep coming back to is borders are essentially closed in all the countries, but local sport can play," he said.

"It's a really good opportunity for cricket. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the various boards and Cricket Australia to really promote the fact that international players are going to play a fair chunk of the season for their respective states, which I think is absolutely fantastic.

"I’d be really pushing Sheffield Shield cricket hard [in Australia] and giving it a lot of coverage and promotion, because I think it's a wonderful competition.

"These days, international players don’t get to play much Sheffield Shield cricket. They love playing Sheffield Shield cricket, but with the schedules, it makes it very difficult, so I’d say really promote that.

"All around the world, can you imagine India having all their superstar players playing their domestic cricket? English cricket stars if cricket's able to played there, having all their international players; South African domestic cricket, Pakistan domestic cricket.

"All around the world, I think it could really give domestic competitions a shot in the arm, and that can only be really good for our sport.

"I'm sure a lot of people will be following domestic cricket if there is limited international cricket. Then the domestic game can not only survive, I think it can thrive."

England's home series against West Indies will not go ahead in June as planned after the start of the 2020 season was further delayed.

Having originally announced there would be no play on English soil before May 28 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has now announced there will be no professional cricket until at least July 1.

The decision affects the three-Test series with West Indies due to take place in June, though the aim is to reschedule international fixtures for both the men's and women's teams from July until the end of the September.

ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison admitted there is still no certainty of any cricket being played during the English season, with games only able to go ahead if permitted by government guidelines.

"As much as we remain hopeful that we can deliver some cricket this summer, we are in the midst of a worldwide crisis and our priority – over and above the playing of professional sport – will be to protect the vulnerable, key workers and society as a whole," Harrison said.

"That's why, simply put, there will be no cricket unless it's safe to play. Our schedule will only go ahead if government guidance permits.

"Our biggest challenge, along with other sports, is how we could seek to implement a bio-secure solution that offers optimum safety and security for all concerned. The guidance we receive from Westminster will help us shape how we deliver this."

A revised domestic fixture list will see the Vitality Blast Twenty20 tournament pushed "as late in the season as possible to give it the best opportunity of being staged", according to a statement from the ECB.

However, nine rounds of the County Championship will be lost this year, with a board meeting next Wednesday to decide what will happen with The Hundred, the new white-ball competition due to begin on July 17.

"Our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play," Harrison said of the potential restructuring.

"The Vitality Blast will also now occupy the latest possible season slot to offer as much time as possible to play a county short-form competition.

"I want to thank everyone involved in this complex and sensitive work. There have clearly never been times like this and my colleagues at the ECB and across the game have been exemplary in this period. It has been refreshing, but not surprising, to see how cricket has come together."

Representatives for England players will continue talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over how to help the game during the coronavirus pandemic, though they have not received any demands from their employers to take a pay cut.

Having already revealed this week that they will provide a £61million support package to help ease the financial issues caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the ECB announced on Wednesday measures to reduce employee salaries as they aim to protect jobs in the long term.

Chief executive Tom Harrison has agreed to take a 25 per cent cut, while members of the executive management and team board will see their wages lowered by 20 per cent.

A report by ESPNcricinfo earlier in the day suggested the England squad had so far declined an invitation to follow suit, though all-rounder Ben Stokes called the story “utter lies" on Twitter.

In a statement, the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) said discussions for both the men's and women's team continue with the ECB over "all aspects of the game", including contracts.

"Regarding the England players, both men and women, separate and ongoing discussions are taking place between the ECB and the management boards of both the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and the England Women's Player Partnership (EWPP), which respectively represent these players," the statement read.

"Contrary to media speculation in communication this week, the ECB confirmed to centrally contracted players that there would not be any demands placed on England players to take any wage reductions to their central contracts.

"However, the England men's players through TEPP and the England women's players through EWPP have been and will continue to be in regular communication with the ECB.

"They will be discussing all aspects of the game that the ECB and the players are currently facing and most importantly how the players can best support their employers, the game and the country in the short, medium and long term. These issues shall also include the wellbeing of the entire cricket family, the playing of the game and the players' contracts."

Limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan made clear he is “extremely willing to help” amid the global crisis, with the English season not scheduled to start until May 28 at the earliest.

"In the extremely uncertain times at the moment where nobody seems to have any answers about the actual impact it will have on international cricket, English cricket, county cricket - I'm open to absolutely everything," Morgan said.

"I'm very aware of how serious the situation is, I'm very aware that everybody will be affected from top to toe within the game and every sport, so I'm open to helping when and where I can."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a £61million support package to "keep the lights on" amid concerns the entire season will be lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison on Tuesday warned the governing body faces the biggest challenge in its history with the United Kingdom in lockdown.

Around £40m has been made available immediately as first-class counties and local cricket boards suffer from the financial impact of COVID-19, while around a further £21m will follow in interest-free loans for recreational clubs in a bid to ensure cricket can survive at all levels.

The start of the county season has already been delayed by six weeks until May 28, but there are fears that no play will be possible at all.

Alternatively, England's Test and limited-overs sides could play at the same time to cram in fixtures later in the season, while the inaugural edition of The Hundred may be postponed until next year or staged behind closed doors.

Harrison also confirmed that England players with central contracts will not be asked to take a pay cut or furloughed.

He said in a statement: "It is no exaggeration to say this is the biggest challenge the ECB has faced in its history.

"We are working around the clock to understand the impact on the game and we have taken these short-term steps to help counties and clubs get through the immediate impact."

Harrison added: "This is a real hammer blow to our plans. Our season is massively under threat now. It's an incredibly difficult time for the country and the game.

"Everyone will be impacted. Right now we are addressing the short term. There's more pain ahead if we lose a substantial portion of the season. We are building scenarios where we can take further steps as needed. We don't think this will be the end of it.

"We won't be playing until we know it is safe for players and eventually fans. We will then be prioritising the most valuable forms of the game: first international cricket, then the Blast and maybe The Hundred as and when we get there.

"This money - £40million in cash for immediate and then £20million in interest-free loans - is to give certainty in these extremely difficult times. It's to keep the lights on."

England's home Test series against West Indies might be salvaged and the domestic season should not be considered a write-off, officials insisted on Friday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended the start of its 2020 campaign until May 28 at the earliest because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But it is working towards a June launch, which would mean the three-Test duel with West Indies goes ahead as planned, with matches at The Oval, Edgbaston and Lord's.

The ECB is wary June may yet prove too soon to resume, but there exists the possibility of staging matches without spectators, with a pointed aim to protect "the most financially important forms of the game".

In a statement, the ECB said it had "begun modelling a range of options to start the season in June, July or August", with June cricket the immediate focus in the hope the money-spinning T20 Blast would also survive, along with England Women's matches against India.

The ECB added: "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.

"The potential for reduced versions of competitions, should the season become further truncated, will also be discussed."

The ECB will also be eager to see its inaugural and Hundred domestic competition held, with its dates spanning July and August.

That and the T20 Blast could provide major financial boosts for the sport, which is poised to be hard-hit, along with so many others, by the COVID-19 crisis. Traditionalists may fear the County Championship will be low on this season's list of priorities.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, said: "Securing the future of the game will be a primary focus as we plot a revised schedule with an emphasis on the most financially important forms of the game for the counties across international and domestic cricket."

Jofra Archer is "progressing as expected" as he recovers from a stress fracture in his right elbow and is set to make a return to action for Sussex in May.

The pace bowler suffered the injury during England’s tour of South Africa, featuring in just the first of four Test matches before withdrawing from the Twenty20 series against the Proteas.

In a statement released on its website, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Archer has undergone a repeat MRI scan and, following a review by the medical team, is focused on being fit for the first Test against West Indies in June.

The 24-year-old, who will again be assessed in April, had hinted at potentially being fit in time to play in the Indian Premier League for the Rajasthan Royals, but will instead make his comeback in the County Championship.

"Following a repeat MRI scan undertaken this week in London, Jofra Archer has been reviewed by the ECB medical team and is progressing as expected from the stress fracture to his right elbow sustained during the South Africa tour in January," the statement read.

"He will have a further scan in mid-April before a return to competitive cricket.

"Archer's focus will be playing for England, starting with the West Indies Test series, which commences in early June.

"He will play County Championship cricket in May for Sussex to ensure his preparation is optimal for Test cricket."

Archer helped England win the Cricket World Cup last year and has played in seven Tests so far in his international career, taking 30 wickets in the longest format at an average of 27.40.

He recently signed a two-year contract extension with Sussex, saying: "I am very happy to commit long term to the club."

England fast bowler Jofra Archer has signed a two-year extension to his Sussex contract.

The 24-year-old, who made his international debut last year, has committed to the county until the end of 2021 season.

Cricket World Cup winner Archer was delighted to agree fresh terms.

"Sussex gave me my opportunity right at the beginning of my career, so I am very happy to commit long term to the club," said the paceman, who signed for Sussex in 2016.

Archer has 55 England wickets across all formats since making his breakthrough at the highest level but is currently sidelined with a low-grade stress fracture of his right elbow. 

South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander has agreed terms to join Somerset on a Kolpak deal in 2020 after announcing his impending international retirement.

Philander this week revealed he will end his Proteas career after the current four-match Test series against England.

Somerset on Saturday confirmed the 34-year-old will ply his trade in England next year, subject to the deal being approved by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Philander is set to follow in the footsteps of several former South Africa team-mates – the latest of which was Hashim Amla, who is returning to Surrey next year.

"I'm really pleased to have agreed personal terms with Somerset. It's a great club and I really enjoyed my time there a few years ago," Philander, who represented the county previously in 2012, told Somerset's official website.

"I know that they won the 50-over cup last year and came close in the [County] Championship and hopefully I'll be able to help them to another successful year in 2020. 

"Right now, I am 100 per cent focused on the series against England and then my focus will turn to my next chapter."

Philander was outstanding in England's first innings of the ongoing opening Test of the four-match series, taking 4-16 from 14.2 overs as the tourists were dismissed for only 181.

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