The news that there is to be a one-hour pause in recreational cricket between 3pm and 4pm on Saturday 17 April (as a mark of respect during the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh) was a surprise to me.
The official line is that the ECB is asking clubs to ‘pause’ play between 3pm and 4pm, allied with a minute’s silence at 3pm.
Of course a minute’s silence is respectful, but I don’t think imposing an hour’s ‘pause’ collectively across the country is the right way to do it. You could argue they’re not imposing anything but when a governing body ‘asks’ everyone then it’s implied.
Ultimately, this is not about ignoring a significant moment but should have been about letting each person decide instead.
Keep in mind that clubhouses are also closed due to current covid restrictions, so players are either expected to listen to / watch the funeral on their phones in their cars (if they’ve got their own transport) or stand outside in the April warmth.
@cricketyorks what do we think to the idea of a 1 hour pause next Saturday in recreational cricket. Happy with a minute at 3pm but asking players who can’t go indoors to hang around for an hour makes no sense.— Richard Wells (@RwellsWells) April 12, 2021
It is a recommendation only. A host cricket club can choose to ignore that (if both clubs agree) though they’ll doubtless be seen as disrespectful and insensitive if they do.
UPDATED: That said, I’ve noticed my local league, the Craven Cricket League, has decided just to do the one-minute silence. We have now seen similar decisions from other cricket leagues made in recent days.
Of course, it’s an all-or-nothing scenario across all sport. The ECB are only falling into line with everyone else.
I wonder here if there’s an element of professional sport pausing to allow people time to watch the funeral on the relevant channels instead, but the thinking of how that works practically in recreational sport – especially with restrictions on access to indoors spaces – has been missed.
An individual could have chosen not to play, umpire, score or watch that fixture, if they wanted to watch the funeral or remember Prince Philip in their own way during that period.
Instead, what we’ll have is an hour of recreational cricketers at facilities they can’t use, standing around.
Yes, in the overall scheme of things, what’s an hour? The point is that it’s expected, imposed and assumes we all act the same.
A one-minute silence is absolutely appropriate. But for the remaining 59 minutes, what is acceptable?
If there’s an opportunity to take a prolonged hour-long tea break then that makes sense. Those who want to watch or listen to the funeral can then do so.
What we’ll probably witness is the first instance of players doing part of a game then sitting in cars or driving home and returning later to resume.
A weird cricket season just got weirder.
What do you think? Leave a comment below, your opinions on all things recreational cricket are always welcome…
Editor’s Note – Since I wrote this feature, the wider push-back from clubs and leagues has seen them decide to pause before the game or at 3pm for a minute. Common sense has prevailed.
- Warmsworth CC on Teamwear: Why we got Serious - June 5, 2023
- Serious Cricket Teamwear: Trusted and made in the UK - June 1, 2023
- Taj Butt & Great Horton Church: Inspiring junior cricketers - May 31, 2023
Richard Wells says
I think you have hit the nail on the head John. Our 1st X1 starts at 12.30 so 3pm might be a natural break but it also might not. No teas inside of course.
An hour stood around may see a few hamstrings pinged as play resumes.
Tony Hutton says
The Greater Manchester Cricket League took the lead in announcing they would have a minute’s silence at 3 p.m. and then carry on playing.
This seems a common sense solution and likely to be followed by other leagues.
One can only imagine Prince Philip’s reaction to this idea of an hour’s break.
John Phillips says
It is another not very well thought out guide from the Ivory Towers that are at Lords. It is not going to be warm next Saturday – an hour wasted. A minutes silence is fine but I think all this reverence starting from the over the top coverage on the BBC is somewhat dated.
Agree absolutely. And who is going to intervene when eight players decide after appropriately marking the 1/2 minutes to spend the next 58 having a kickabout to keep warm
JM Molyneux says
Whilst wholly appropriate to acknowledge his passing with a 2 minute silence a 1 hour cessation is not required . Temperatures will hardly rival The Caribbean and for players and officials to hang around sadly shows The ECB are out of touch with the recreational game.
Andrew Gallon says
The Huddersfield League has rejected as “impractical at best” an hour’s break in play. It will opt simply for a minute’s silence, at 3pm. Apparently, this position mirrors the YCB’s guidance. Common sense prevails!