CSM Live, the live experience team of agency CSM Sport and Entertainment, has been appointed by the England and Wales Cricket Board to help the governing body formulate a bio-secure return to cricket.
Working closely with the ECB as England prepares for its Test series against the West Indies, the agency has helped to design a bio-secure environment at the Ageas Bowl, Emirates Old Trafford and training venues in Worcester and Derby, in order for international cricket to be played safely when it returns on 8 July.
CSM Live’s remit for the ECB was the design and delivery of infrastructural requirements which include health check and sanitisation points for personnel, vehicle screen areas, welfare units, perimeter fencing, temporary walling, temporary accreditation checkpoints, as well as the production of all wayfinding and signage at the venues.
These measures are implemented to ensure that all stakeholders maintain a strict discipline of separation whilst on site. The venue is divided into zones with limited access to each zone (player/media/venue operations), which in some cases requires physical barriers, heath checks and new routes around the stadium.
CSM has a long history of work in cricket with the ECB – in Test Cricket and for its franchise tournament The Hundred, as well as with other clients including Cricket Australia, the Vitality Blast, the Rajasthan Royals, Specsavers and other cricket partner brands.
CSM Live CEO Alastair Bewick commented, “These are exceptionally challenging times and the return to “behind closed doors” has been unlike anything we’ve seen before. Everybody wants to get back into stadiums and here the absolute priority is to reduce the risk of infection between all teams required to get cricket playing again. The ECB has proved that a co-ordinated strategy between all stakeholders can create a bio-secure venue. This does not eliminate every risk, but the measures implemented by the ECB and CSM Live make live sport a reality in difficult circumstances.
“The learnings from this phase will be the foundations for getting spectators back. How they are managed is complicated and needs consideration – it will require resources from the wider event industry but that journey has started.”
Phil Williams, ECB Senior Events Presentation Manager said, “CSM Live is a trusted partner whose consultancy and seamless delivery has been pivotal to us reaching the point we all wanted to reach – the return to international cricket. Together with CSM Live we have carefully considered the additional infrastructural requirements, new processes and implementation solutions, and they have helped us to deliver a set of measures aimed at preventing the introduction and/or spread of coronavirus under extremely challenging circumstances. These have included limited planning and production time, restrictions around travel to and from the sites, and regularly changing medical protocols which affected the infrastructure.”
England will play three Tests over 21 days when the season starts on 8 July. The three matches will be played behind closed doors at the Ageas Bowl, followed by Tests at Emirates Old Trafford on 16 and 24 July.