England vs West Indies: Simulated crowd noise during Test matches to enhance atmosphere at empty stadiums

Simulated crowd noise and music will be played during the historic 3-Test series between England and West Indies, starting Wednesday, June 8 in Southampton.

While crowds are not going to be part of cricket matches in the near future in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, organisers are looking at options to improve the match atmosphere for players in empty stadiums. Fans will also be able to get closer to in-stadia experience due to the artificial crowd noise, organisers believe.

England and West Indies will play a 3-Test series in Southampton and Manchester between July 8 and 28 marking the return of the international game following the enforced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With fans being banned from attending the matches, England and West Indies players have agreed in principle to allow fake noise and music to be played during the Test series, according to The Times.

Fake noise, altered accordingly to the match situation, to enhance the atmosphere has been introduced in football after the sport restarted in front of empty stands in the wake of the pandemic. Premier League and La Liga have been using video game giant EA Sports’ sound library for the fake crowd noise during the live matches.

From fans’ chants at Anfield to crowd noise at Camp Nou, EA has reportedly handed over thousands of audio clips to be used during live matches in Premier League and La Liga. Broadcasters have also been able to use the fake crowd noise while telecasting the matches.

‘Some noise around would be great’

However, unlike football, cricket will use a continued audio stream from matches from the past, according to Daily Mail. Stump mic audio will also be controlled by the broadcasters in the absence of ambient noise at the stadium.

In the wake of the pandemic, players will need time to get used to the changes in the sport. From handling the saliva ban to playing in front of empty stands, elite athletes need to be prepared for cricket in the times of the Covid-19.

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach has said some noise will be better than no noise at stadiums during the Test series which would have seen packed stands had it not been for the pandemic.

“Some noise around would be great. It will be strange for us playing in England where there is always a lot of crowd noise and atmosphere,” Roach told The Times.

England pacer Stuart Broad said last month that he started working with his psychologist to make sure he gets his emotions up and performs at his best in the absence of crowd.

“I’m very aware of that, I’ve already spoken to our sport psychologist about creating a mindset around making sure I can get my emotions up to where they need to be for me to perform at my best,” Broad said.

“I have got to make sure my emotions are where they need to be for an international Test match and that is something I started working on in early June.”

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