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Covid-19 - Update from League 11-Jul-2020 - Season Start

July 11th, 2020

Further to the ECB Stage 4 adaptations, we can now set out our own match rules and other changes to allow our season to commence on 18th July.

1.     Changes to match rules can be accessed here .We hope you will understand that with the game breaks required under the Stage 4 protocol the game will take longer to complete than hitherto and therefore a shortened game is thought to be the only way that we can meet those regulations and still have a meaningful game of league cricket. There will be no penalties for not providing umpires and scorers below the Premier and Championship. Full rules with these updates can be found on the Handbook menu of the website.

2.     For clarity, changing rooms and showers will not be used by players. Players will come to matches already changed. If clubs can arrange to erect gazebos or similar for use by players so that social distancing can be observed, so much the better. There may be issues with kit bags which could either be left in individuals’ cars or perhaps in roped off areas, but social distancing must be followed.

3.     We would advise all players to bring their own hand sanitisers and drink for drinks breaks as home clubs will not be able to provide drinks for the usual drinks breaks.

4.     Clubs must ensure that scorers are not closer to one another than permitted under social distancing and if the scorebox is too small to allow for this, then one scorer will have to sit outside. Where there is no scorer and players undertake this task, please arrange for there to be a pack of disposable gloves by the book so than each player can in turn wear a clean pair of gloves and dispose of them before a team mate takes over. The same advice applies to moving a sight screen. It may seem over cautious, but a metal or plastic screen pushed by one player may have picked up some of the virus and another player moving it would be wise to protect himself, so a pack of gloves by the screen should be provided.

5.     When the stumps are positioned it might be wise for the ‘installer’ to wear gloves.

6.     Each bowler is required to bring their own cloth to dry the ball in wet conditions.

7.     Teas will not be provided, so players must bring their own.

8.     The survey of clubs asking for ground and player availability showed that in the majority of cases ground and player availability is good, but some clubs do not have a home ground for a variety of reasons, and in some cases there are players shortages. Can all clubs with ground or availability issues please contact all the clubs against whom they have matches and explain the situation. If it is possible to play the ‘home’ game at the visitor’s ground and both sides agree, then please do so. Any cost issues can be dealt with between the clubs. We believe it is also reasonable in these unique times that if the game can be switched to another venue or perhaps onto to the Sunday of the same weekend then clubs can do that as well. We must try, to use the ECB’s mantra, to get the game on. We will also suggest to clubs where their opponents cannot play the match to try other clubs in a similar position so a ‘friendly’ can be played.

9.     Lastly, and following on from point 8 above, if you have a spare ground at any stage during this shortened season then please let the league know and we will publish the ground and date availability on the website. Clubs/Teams can then co-ordinate between themselves. We would expect home clubs to receive a small fee for 'renting' their ground. This is an opportunity to help others in circumstances out of their control and clubs should not be out of pocket for doing so. It would be helpful if you have spare grounds to let us know as early as possible. Please email : grounds@hertsleague.co.uk  

We sincerely hope that we can not only salvage a competitive season from the wreckage caused by this virus but show that in adversity we can still make progress. To that end whist we will not be offering prize money for divisional winners we will continue what we began last season and ask clubs to pick their most hospitable opponents in their division at the end of the season. This year  a club that goes the extra mile to make their visitors feel welcome and safe and looked after will  deserve to be recognised by their peers and we intend to award each such club a ‘prize’ of £100 which may go some way to help towards the extra costs they will have incurred. 

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