Today has been another long day full of much hope – and also more frustration.
It was great to hear about some of the changes to lockdown that will help some of our member clubs – especially around opening bar areas. However it was incredibly frustrating to hear that cricket matches still do not have a restart date.
Following the comments from the Prime Minster today the ECB released the following statement.
"The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) along with the nation’s cricket players are keen to see the imminent and safe return of our sport at recreational level and have been working hard with government to achieve this,"
"We believe that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other activities being currently permitted. It is our strong desire to work with government to see the return of recreational cricket on or around July 4, as they continue to lift other restrictions more broadly across society.
"We are heartened that the government has already permitted the return of other ball sports, including tennis and basketball, and we are sure that our interpretation of the risks around ball transmission is consistent with these other games.
"We can confirm that any guidance we share with the game will include directions on how to mitigate any risk from handling the ball as we continue to prioritise the health and safety of the cricket family in all our decision-making."
Following on from the league's announcement last week, that clubs should start to get ready to play, I find this ECB statement very heartening and it shows that the ECB do want to get cricket played in July – as we suspected last week when we sent out the note for clubs to start taking action.
Therefore I want to reiterate the points I made last week – Member Clubs should be attempting to:
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.
This continues to be our best option to be ready to play cricket when the ECB and government can agree on guidelines – something that is surely just around the corner from happening.
The SNEL Exec committee will be having weekly meetings from next week to make sure that we can react to any new updates from the ECB and that we have robust plans and options in place for the rest of the season.
I have managed to talk to many member clubs this week already and have been very heartened by the messages of support and also the stories of how excited your own club members are of there potentially being some cricket this summer.
As ever if you ever want to chat, make comment or ask questions please do give me a shout.