02:00PM, Saturday 20 June 2020
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is confident competitive cricket will return in some form this summer, and says the game is uniquely placed to return sooner than other sports because of its non contact nature.
The ECB provided an update for clubs this week on its phased return during the COVID-19 pandemic, with small, socially distanced, group training sessions now allowed.
It is hoped clubs will be moved onto step four, adapted game play, when government advice allows and it’s medically safe to do so. This will enable teams to get back to some form of competitive action.
A ECB statement read: “There is no question that COVID-19 has impacted all areas of society and community sport is not immune to this. The recreational game is critical to the long term health and prosperity of our game and so it is vital that we support the game through this unprecedented crisis.
“This is why we initially provided access to more than £20m in grants and loans for the recreational game and worked with local clubs to access a further £24m in government grants and loans. Mobilising the game to return as safely as possible is our next challenge.
“We have begun significant work to ensure all cricket stakeholders are involved in this consultation.
“We are optimistic about a return to competitive cricket matches this summer. This will be conditional on it being safe to do so, a decision that will be medically led and in line with government advice. Although social distancing is likely to be in place for the foreseeable future, cricket is a non-contact team sport with individual disciplines. We believe this makes cricket uniquely placed as a team sport to be played sooner than other major team sports.”
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