Since our last update on 18th May there have been further regular communications from the ECB,CCC and County to all clubs. As before we do not intend to repeat what you received from the ECB and others, but links to those updates are available and we can summarise the present situation as follows:
The latest ECB Covid-19 update was issued, along with a specific press release on 19 June, the day the Leagues executive committee held its latest zoom meeting. Links to both are available on the website. The press release itself strikes a more optimistic tone and, through our own and other leagues’ suggestions and support expressed at the bi-weekly meetings it is clear that the ECB are fighting our corner. There are expected to be further updates over the next few days and certainly after the next ECB/Leagues/Stakeholders meeting scheduled for 1 July. The section in the update headed ‘Roadmap FAQs’ is particularly interesting .The ECB have indicated under their Roadmap that it was only at stage five, when social distancing measures were removed that we could return to full ‘league cricket’. However we see no reason why, under stage four, with suitable adaptations, meaningful league cricket should not take place. To that end the committee is exploring the necessary adaptations that might be imposed for such games to take place once that stage has been reached. Clearly, as emphasised in the ECB press release, they will provide their guidelines once the government allows progress to stage four but we feel it is as well to be prepared from our point of view. If we are allowed to start we may have to allow flexibility as to the format of the games played which might include the length of matches, minimum number of players allowed for games to take place and on-field protocols. All such matters will be publicised as soon as we are given the green light.
Other leagues have gone out to their clubs suggesting that cricket might start on the second weekend in July. We have already earmarked that date in earlier updates and see no reason to change our aim. Groundsmen and clubs should plan to be ready in anticipation but ultimately it is the Government that will allow further progress.
Lastly we must emphasise the need for clubs to make sure they have the necessary public liability and other appropriate insurances in place. The guidelines that the ECB will require us to comply with to allow for cricket to take place in a safe environment are the responsibility of the clubs themselves .Whilst the League provides the structure within which league cricket takes place it cannot be responsible for compliance with whatever guidelines are issued.
We have decided not to apply for the ECB loan to assist in the purchase of cricket balls this year, as we have sufficient funds in our accounts. In consultation with Readers,our major suppliers, and Dukes we have arranged that we will buy, on behalf of the clubs, all the balls you ordered from Dukes, all the pink balls ordered from Readers and half the red balls ordered from Readers.Our reasoning was broadly that, although the Dukes balls will not be needed for league matches this year, they have already been supplied to us and by buying them now they will be needed next season and at least the price will be held. Secondly as far as the Readers balls are concerned if we get half a season in, all the Premier and Championship pink league balls will be needed and the Sunday pink balls may be required for T20 matches that could be staged later in the season. It follows that only half the Readers red balls will be needed for a maximum of half a season. For each club if taking half the balls ordered led to an odd number of balls being ordered this has been rounded up to the next even number as two balls are of course needed for each match. So the league will buy all the balls ordered for this season and we will ask all clubs to confirm that they will repay the league before next season’s captains’ meeting. To that end an amended ball order form is attached to this notice showing the new number of balls and the cost along with the original order form so that clubs will have a record of what they need to pay to the league before the captains’ meeting in 2021 and what they might need to order as additional balls for next season when a new order form is sent out next January.
We will keep the Dukes balls for distribution at next year’s captains’ meeting and Readers will post this year’s balls out to clubs with the league picking up the postage costs. In addition we had indicated that as part of our branding arrangements with Saracens we will be providing each team with a scorebook and each club with a new set of branded stumps. We will arrange for the scorebooks to be included with the balls when posted but will retain the stumps for distribution at the captains’ meeting in 2021.We will therefore need an address for each to clubs so that Readers can dispatch the balls and scorebooks when they return to work on (now) 1 July. Can you please provide an appropriate postal address by the end of June to receive delivery.Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
LEAGUE ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEARS ENDING OCTODER 2017, 2018 AND 2019.
We are pleased to report that we have now had the accounts for the three years to 2019 signed off by the league’s reporting accountant, Paul Fishpool. A narrative, prepared by our treasurer Ross McCaskill, is attached to the accounts and a link to them will be provided in the emails sent to club reps and secretaries. Without the ability to adopt these accounts formally in a General Meeting, that adoption will have to await the next actual General meeting that we are able to hold (we hope next year’s AGM) which would be scheduled for 22 February 2021.In the meantime, if clubs have any queries on the accounts, can they please address them to Ross.Barry Hellewell21 June 2020