Cricket match first sports event in England to welcome fans since COVID-19

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: RESENDING TO INCLUDE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OPENING DAY OF THE MATCH - PLEASE NOTE DIFFERENT RESTRICTIONS FOR THE HIGHLIGHTS

VIDEO SHOWS: FANS ARRIVING FOR CRICKET GAME BETWEEN SURREY AND MIDDLESEX AT THE OVAL - THE FIRST SPORTING EVENT TO WELCOME SPECTATORS IN THE UK SINCE THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN

SHOWS:

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 26, 2020) (BBC - NO USE UK)

1. INTERIOR OF THE OVAL AHEAD OF THE TWO-DAY FRIENDLY BETWEEN SURREY AND MIDDLESEX

2. SIGN, READING: "HAND SANITISER STATIONS" / INTERIOR OF STADIUM, GROUND STAFF REMOVING COVERS FROM THE PITCH

3. VARIOUS OF FANS ARRIVING AND WASHING THEIR HANDS WITH SOME WEARING MASKS

4. ARROW ON THE FLOOR INDICATING THE DIRECTION TO WALK WITH ONE-WAY SYSTEM BEING USED AS PART OF COVID-19 MEASURES

5. TUB OF ANTIBACTERIAL WIPES ON TABLE, PEOPLE WASHING HANDS IN BACKGROUND

6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED FAN, SAYING:

"Buzzing, yes buzzing - 10 out of 10 I'd say. If it was possible to surpass 10 that's where I'd be - somewhere up above the 10 and looking down on it, Yes, really excited. Obviously, the fact that it#'s cricket as well, the game of the English summer. It hasn't really felt... the English summer hasn't really felt complete without it."

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED FAN, SAYING:

"Very, very privileged. Good question. Very privileged. The test has been amazing, it's kept us going in the dark times but just to be here to feel that leather on willow is just going to be incredible."

UNIDENTIFIED FRIEND, SAYING: "And you've got your bat with you as well."

"I do, yes. Plenty of cherries (red marks from a cricket ball) on here so I'm just going to be holding this for the whole day."

8. FANS WALKING TO THEIR SEATS

9. TWO FANS SITTING IN SEATS WITH EMPTY SEATS AROUND THEM

10. VARIOUS OF MAN SITTING IN SEAT WITH NOBODY NEAR TO HIM

11. THREE FANS SPEAKING, TWO WEARING MASKS

12. MAN, WHO'S WEARING A MASK, WALKING TOWARDS HIS SEAT

13. MAN WALKING TOWARDS HIS SEAT AND TAKING COAT OFF

14. THREE FANS SITTING IN THEIR SEATS

15. VIEW OF FANS AND PITCH FROM BEHIND A SEAT

16. VARIOUS OF SECURITY IN THE STADIUM

17. VARIOUS OF GROUND STAFF PREPARING THE PITCH AHEAD OF THE GAME, TAKING OFF THE COVERS AND ROLLING THE PITCH

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 26, 2020) (SURREY COUNTY CRICKET CLUB - MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY SURREY COUNTY CRICKET CLUB, NO RESALES, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO USE AFTER AUGUST 4, 2020)

18. VARIOUS OF HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OPENING DAY OF SURREY'S FRIENDLY AGAINST MIDDLESEX

STORY: The Oval welcomed 1,000 cricket fans on Sunday (July 26) for a friendly two-day game between Surrey and Middlesex.

It is the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown that specators have been allowed into a sporting arena.

The 1,000 fans are all members of Surrey Cricket club and it's part of a British government pilot scheme to "stress test" COVID-19 measures at sports venues.

Edgbaston in Birmingham will also host a two-day friendly game between Warwickshire and Worcestershire which starts on Monday (July 27).

The world snooker championship which begins on July 31 in Sheffield and the final Saturday of Glorious Goodwood on August 1 will also be part of the pilot.

There have been no spectators at sporting events since March with a complete shutdown of competitions untl mid-June.

As of Saturday morning, more than 45,700 people had died from COVID-19 in the UK according to government figures.

Video Transcript

- Buzzing. Yeah, buzzing. 10 out of 10, I'd say. If it was possible to surpass 10, that's where I'd be, somewhere up above the 10, looking down on it.

Yeah, really excited. I mean, honestly the fact that it's cricket as well. The game of the English summer hasn't really felt-- the English summer hasn't felt complete without it.

- Very, very privileged. Good questioned, very privileged. The test has been amazing. It's kept us going in the dark times. But just to be here to feel that leather on willow is just going to be incredible.

- And you've got your bat with you as well?

- I do, yeah. Plenty of cherries on here. So I'm just can be holding this the whole day.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- There are a few showers.

- Yes, we have a really strange environment we're in [INAUDIBLE] secure. We don't really need much practice, especially [INAUDIBLE] behind [INAUDIBLE]

[WRAPPER CRINKLING]

- Has been taking place behind closed doors. Of course, today we'll see the first steps towards crowds coming back to watching sport. The Oval will host 1,000 fans

- To watch this county cricket match between Surrey and Middlesex. Is the first of a number of trials that the government are putting on to try and get fans back into stadiums. But it's going to look different. There's going to be 1,000 fans compared to the 25,000--

- Ryan Patel on to strike to Tim Murtagh for the first time today. And that squirts up a thick-ish edge. Soft hands from Ryan Patel. This could be our first boundary. It is. We're over towards--

Cullen, over the wicket comes right on over. Down the leg side, oh now gone. Mark Stoneman.

- The left over this time. Oh, caught brilliantly. That's a sensational catch in the slips. That was going at some speed. It's the end of Patel, and he's gone for nine.

- Cullen bowls again. Lovely, full delivery. But it's pushed over, over pitched really. That's a glorious shot. Through extra over.

- [INAUDIBLE] James is in, and Borthwick shot. Square drive from Scott Borthwick. Very nicely played. Scatters some pigeons.

- Driving is Jackson's nice shot. Because that was just pushed a bit wider by [INAUDIBLE] It's a terrific effort to get round.

- And end is in two Jacks, who all played beautifully through the onside. Off the back foot as well, through midwicket.

- Comes over the wicket two Will Jacks. Jacks drives. Oh, he's timed this beautifully. Even with the sweeper on the cover point boundary rope, that has whistled away for four. And again--