Updated: May 17
2020 has been a dreadful year for everyone and cricket has been no different so we thought we’d look forward and look at some of the things we’re excited about seeing in 2021.
No cancelled matches
Despite huge efforts to ensure players, umpires and coaching staff are safe and that their isolation bubbles are not compromised, there have been a few instances where games have been cancelled due to covid breeches particularly on the recent England tour to South Africa.
Hopefully we can have a year uninterrupted by covid and we can go back to having games only cancelled by rain and bad light… while we’re at it, can we stop delaying games because of bad light?
More Tests for Afghanistan and Ireland
2020 brought no Test matches for the 2 newest members of the Test cricket community and was definitely not the year that they were hoping for. Afghanistan were set to come up against Ireland at home as well as Australia away. Meanwhile Ireland, alongside their game against the Afghans were set to play Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh this year.
It will be fantastic to see both sides play more Test cricket, I mean who’s not excited at the prospect of Rashid Khan doing his stuff in the most competitive format of the game?!
Cricket returning to Pakistan
For the first time since 2009, Test cricket is set to return to Pakistan, South Africa are due to tour Pakistan for 2 Tests and 3 T20s. With everything that Pakistan did for world cricket by travelling to England during the height of the pandemic they deserve thanks from everyone particularly England who have also promised to tour in October next year for a couple of T20s.
Hopefully the return of international cricket to Pakistan will mean that places like Lahore and Karachi will continue to see teams tour for years to come.
Euro T20 Slam
There were many who felt a huge sense of disappointment that, despite an auction and several big names being signed up to (what should have been) the inaugural Euro T20 Slam in 2019, the tournament was postponed to 2020. Then 2020 happened and so the tournament was postponed again.
All being good the tournament should start in earnest in 2021, hopefully with the same fanfare and big name signings as promised before!
The Hundred seems to have been a bit like Brexit in a lot of ways; it seems to have been going on forever with impassioned people arguing on either side.
2021 should finally see the Hundred take place, with big crowds expected and an extra impetus on bringing families and cricket novices to the games. If it comes off, it’ll be a wonderful boost to English cricket and it’ll be fascinating to see how it plays out.
Fans back in the grounds
Watching cricket over the Christmas break it has been so good to see fans in the grounds watching Australia v India and New Zealand v Pakistan and the atmosphere that they produce.
The rumble of expectation round a ground when a bowler is having a great spell or the cheers when a batsman begins to score fluently is un-manufacturable and I can't wait too see fans in the grounds round the world in the coming year.
More women's cricket
Women's cricket this year has taken one of the biggest hits in world cricket.
The ECB managed to scramble together a hastily organised domestic trophy and host the West Indies which were huge successes. Meanwhile CA managed to organise this years WBBL without a hitch and a few sides for the international team to face but overall women's cricket has fallen by the wayside.
2021 will be the year that hopefully women's cricket can finally build on the momentum gained by the T20 World Cup from back in March.