Shepherd Neame Essex League News story

Time To Get Ready To Play - Important Update

19 Jun 2020

Time To Get Ready To Play


 The committee met on Wednesday evening to discuss the season and our current situation. This was the monthly exec meeting but followed on the back of both an Adult Participation Group meeting on Tuesday and an ECB conference call on Wednesday afternoon.


Over those two meetings I am happy to have seen some real progress being made by the ECB and some real rays of light that we may be able to get cricket matches played in the near future.


I am sure many of you also saw this encouraging tweet from Oliver Dowden recently as well


Following the meeting and discussions the committee now feels it is time for clubs to get ready for some kind of play.


You will remember I wrote to you all on the 1st of May with 11 key points around the 2020 League season –


On that list was


3.     Clubs will be given at least 3 weeks’ notice before any restart to the season.


The committee would now like to give clubs that notice: as the latest indications from the ECB are that some sort of adapted play may be possible during July. No dates have been confirmed yet, but we feel we should try and get ahead of the game to ensure we can act quickly once the go ahead is given


For clarity the league exec would like clubs to start doing the following:


1.     Get squares and outfields ready for cricket to be played from the 2nd weekend in July.

2.     Contact members to alert them to the fact that the cricket matches may be able to be played from the 2nd weekend in July and to start taking availability.


There will no doubt be hundreds of questions to be answered before we can get the season restarted – Some of the biggest I have hopefully answered below – when we get further advice we will of course forward that on.


Q How will cricket deal with social distancing measures and hygiene protocols?


A Both are things that the ECB are working hard with the government to get solutions for: more details will hopefully be released soon


Q Will we keep the same league fixtures?


A It is likely for cricket matches to resume that we will have to adapt our fixtures and our playing formats – the league will help with any changes that are needed.


Q Do we have to organise clubhouse opening and teas?


A We think it is very unlikely that teas will be required or even advised this season – bars may have a chance, of course, to open further down the line, but the opening of clubhouses for catering and social activities is driven by government advice.


Q What is happening with umpires?


A The umpire panel are currently surveying their members and getting availability – we expect to have to be flexible this year with everything including umpire appointments.


Q Our club do not want to play any cricket this season – what do we do?


A There is absolutely no problem with this – please just let the committee know.


Q By getting ready to play cricket it is going to cost our club money – can we wait for firmer guidance from the ECB before we start preparations?


A The committee want what is best for all our member clubs, if at the moment you feel that you need more time before you can act then there is no issue with this, please just let us know – the better communication we have with clubs now the better chance we have of restarting.


Q Is the league taking advice from the county and ECB or going it alone?


A It is vital that everyone is aware that we will only act on the advice from the ECB, county and of course the government. At this point we just want clubs to get ready to play – it may be that we are jumping the gun a little early – but we are not telling clubs to do anything other than to get ready to play. When we have a firm date to play we will advise on fixtures and arrangements.


I hope that the above is perhaps a welcome surprise to clubs – but I have always stated that we will attempt to get as much cricket played as possible – and the more preparation we can put in now the more chance that we will be able to get cricket played by our youth and adult teams and still have a summer that we can enjoy.




The Spirit Of Cricket During Covid-19 – Keeping Disciplined


It has come to the attention of the Essex Cricket in the Community Adult Participation Group that there have been cases of matches being played during this lockdown period – when team sport, including recreational cricket, is suspended.


It is very disappointing that these instances have taken place – even though appears it is only a small minority of cricketers that are breaking rules.


Playing or training in large groups goes against not only current ECB guidelines but also the current law as set out by the UK Government. It could also, of course, help spread the virus and cause localised outbreaks.


The ECiC and APG have agreed the following:


·      All clubs that know of any cricket being played by their members should take the appropriate disciplinary actions.

·      Any club that is discovered to have taken part in the organising or helping to facilitate the playing of matches while cricket is suspended could face legal action or potential disciplinary action through ECiC.


At this time we have seen amazing stories from around the cricketing world as people work together to get through this period safely.


We all hope that the actions of a small group do not ruin the chances for us all soon to play the game we love.


Thank you to everyone who has observed the Spirit of Cricket in recent times and respected the lockdown – we hope that you will soon be rewarded for your patience.




I am of course always here to answer any questions or to just have a chat.


Thomas Clarke


SNEL Chairman