ECB annouce plans of an ‘imminent and safe return’ to recreational cricket

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 July 2020

ECB target recreational cricket to return around the 4 July. Picture: Terry Ife.

ECB target recreational cricket to return around the 4 July. Picture: Terry Ife.

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The England and Wales Cricket Board have plans for an “imminent and safe return” of recreational cricket around the weekend of July 4.

But in response to a statement released by the ECB, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is concerned about the sport’s return as the ball could carry the Coronavirus.

“The problem with cricket as everybody understands, is that the ball is a natural vector of disease, potentially, at any rate and we’ve been round it many times with our scientific friends,” said Johnson.

“We’re still working on ways to make cricket Covid-secure, but can’t change the guidance yet.”

Despite the PM’s concerns, the ECB still feel local cricket can be played this summer.

“The 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,” said the statement.

“We believe that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and 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 across society.

“We are heartened that the Government has already permitted the return of other ball sports, including tennis and basketball, and we’re sure our interpretation of the risks around ball transmission is consistent with other games.

“Any guidance we share will include directions on how to mitigate risk from handling the ball as we continue to prioritise the health and safety of the cricket family in all our decision-making.”

Clevedon Cricket Club director John Bachelor says the club have been ‘patient’ whilst getting ready to play again and welcomed the news.

“That’s what you want to hear. Everybody has wanted to hear that and all we can do is wait for the correct statement and information and when it is out and correct we can go from there,” said Bachelor.

“There are a lot of really good people in sport who love cricket and they played it for years. To have a year without it would have been a disaster.

“There’s so much talk on people’s mental health and being able to play the game they love, their very good friends, good teammates. It’s so valuable for everyone.”


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