It’s official, we have hit the pause button on grassroots cricket. The ECB has issued a statement on the recreational game in light of the developing COVID-19 situation.
They are recommending that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended. This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.
As you’d expect, there is no specific timeline mentioned for its return but there will be further updates as the situation evolves.
This is a period of enormous upheaval and uncertainty for all of us. The impact on cricket reflects the wider concerns about our health, wellbeing and the many ways this may affect our lives.
As a cricket writer, I see my role as vital in the coming months to share information and continue to highlight all of Yorkshire cricket.
Purely in a cricket context, the impact on volunteer-led clubs and leagues will be considerable.
The fact that there is no cricket for perhaps many months doesn’t mean that cricketyorkshire.com slows or stops.
Quite the opposite. I will seek out the stories, endeavour to support and would welcome writers on the website for a variety of viewpoints.
If you want to connect on social media, I’m @cricketyorks on Twitter and there is a Cricket Yorkshire Facebook page.
The Yorkshire Cricket Board wanted me to share their update with you all. Do have a read below and keep in touch.
best wishes, John.
Here’s a message from Andrew Watson, Managing Director of the Yorkshire Cricket Board about COVID-19 and the Yorkshire Cricket Network:
Following the Government’s latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness that we support ECB’s decision that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended. We are indeed in unprecedented times at the moment and Government advice is changing /updated rapidly every day.
There has been nothing like this for over a century and we are in unchartered waters, so we do have to keep ourselves safe.
Sport and cricket in particular, plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities – particularly at junior levels.
Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months and our staff will be on hand to help.
It will be critical that any decisions ECB do make are medically-led and we will all continue to work under Government guidelines together with ECB.
We understand that countless hours of work from thousands of volunteers have already gone into getting ready for the 2020 season and we know how disappointing this will be. We are thankful for the huge role that volunteers play in local cricket, to ensure the game remains at the heart of our communities.
We know that you and your clubs, leagues and Associations can play an important role in bringing communities together once we get past this period of time.
The Yorkshire Cricket Board staff (Heads of Region, Club & Community Development Managers, CCOs and our Ops Team) will help and support you all the way. You are definitely not alone in this and we shall be all working together to support you all.
We shall continue to support all recreational cricket collectively the best way we possibly can, whilst ultimately supporting and keeping everyone safe. Please contact your local Head of Region or your local CCDM.
Finally, I wish to sincerely thank you for your commitment, time and indeed patience at this worrying time.
Kind regards, Andrew
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Aden Biddle says
So many things for the cricket world to process at the moment. People’s safety is paramount and it was good to see the ECB make a proactive decision on recreational cricket. Cricket will survive but I fear for clubs already struggling with facilities and grounds a year off might just end some teams. Multi sports venues have struggled all winter with very wet conditions no football or rugby for 3 months means takings are very low and without cricket and club bookings things look bleak. It’s so hard with this ever changing situation to really know how things will pan out maybe in July and August there is cricket to be played and maybe this will make people appreciate the value of just playing weather competitive or not. We’ll all miss cricket and it’s going to be hard but is has to take a backward step to public safety right now.
John Fuller says
Thanks Aden – yes, the impact will be considerable on grassroots cricket and I’ll be discussing that and trying to help through my journalism in the coming months. Still very much in a period of processing and uncertainty.
Best wishes, thanks for your articles to date.
John Fisher says
There could be a positive (if you look at it from a certain point of view) that it might accelerate the demise of those clubs that are no longer sustainable and have been dying for years meaning those that emerge may be in a better position to survive in the long term
John Fuller says
Hi John, thanks for the contribution. I know what you’re saying and it’s true that some clubs do just about keep going year-to-year – but it would be a brave position to state demise of clubs is positive. If that did happen and we were suddenly left with 100 less clubs in Yorkshire, I’d argue that was a crushing loss for those communities. The biggest single issue at clubs, alongside whether teams can get filled, is finding the volunteers to help runs clubs. Once cricket resumes, all clubs will need their volunteers (and new ones) more than ever. Those that can’t get helpers for the increasing burden could well fall by the wayside.