International cricket, like all major sports in the world, had to undergo a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, as the world adjusts to the new normal, international cricket made a comeback this month with the first test match played between West Indies and England at Southampton.
While West Indies booked a brilliant victory over England in the first major international match since March, the return of international cricket is a win for many, including some of the biggest online sportsbooks.
West Indies vs England
West Indies recently won the first test match against England in a series of three matches to be played over this month.
Even though West Indies were seen as an underdog in the game, they managed to win the first match against the world champions with great performances by Jermaine Blackwood and Shannon Gabriel.
The Caribbean side won the first test match against England by a margin of four wickets and go forward with a series advantage of 1-0 into the next match scheduled to start on 16th July.
While the game was a great display of the beautiful game of cricket, it was significantly different from how the game was played before the coronavirus pandemic.
How Cricket Adapted to the New Normal
There were several differences that would be a part of the new normal as international cricket makes a comeback and we witness more matchups in the future.
The most noticeable difference was the absence of a crowd as the game was played behind closed doors in an empty stadium. While the broadcasters have adapted to the situation by adding artificial crowd noises to the broadcasts of the game, it is hard to ignore the empty stands seen on camera.
Additionally, several steps were taken to ensure the safety of all the players and staff. Both the stadiums where the matches of the series would be played (The Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford) were made bio-secure by the ECB. The players were made to undergo quarantine and isolation during training and practice and were tested regularly.
Social distancing norms had to be enforced during the game which meant players were discouraged from celebrating at the fall of wickets or coming into close contact with the umpires. Lastly, players were also not allowed to use salvia to shine the ball and instead had to use sweat.
While all these changes definitely affected the match in more than one way, online sportsbooks have seen a massive surge in traffic as punters rushed to make the most of the return of international cricket.
Online sportsbooks see a huge surge in traffic
Not only were the players and fans affected by the coronavirus hiatus, online sportsbooks and betters also had to go through a number of long months without any action.
Some online gambling providers like Royal Panda have done well with their online casinos during the hiatus but the return of major sports like Cricket has definitely pushed back the amount of traffic on their sportsbook to the pre-pandemic levels.