This will be our final update before our league season starts. It has been a long road to get to this point. We started advising all clubs back on 19 March along with the ECB, County and CCC about the effects of the coronavirus. It has taken a huge effort from our governing body in its negotiations with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and from all other stakeholders to get to the stage where our league can start. It is vitally important that all clubs and their members adhere to the adaptations and Covid-19 security measures that have been put in place or all that effort may be wasted. Please, therefore, take the new protocols seriously to enable all to stay safe and to enjoy the cricket that we are now privileged to play.
All of the points made in our update of 11 July still stand and we would ask all clubs to make sure that the contents and amendments to the match rules and procedures are clearly understood by their membership. There are many players who have represented clubs in our league for decades and it is vital that their experience plays a part in compliance.
The final points to note are as follows:-
1. The team sheets for all league matches are available for download from the website. Please use them and retain them as required for contact tracing purposes. In addition if someone playing in or attending a match tests positive for the virus please inform your opposition so that they can contact the NHS track and trace system.
2. Please note that in matches where panel umpires stand the league will pay the umpires’ expenses and invoice clubs at the end of the season. Please do not pay them on the day.
3. In order to assist umpires in judging run outs please ask your groundsmen to extend the popping crease line to the batsman’s Covid-19 running line. As to the line itself the two metre distance is only a minimum and if groundsmen are concerned that the running line may damage adjoining future pitches then there is no reason why the two metre line cannot be put along the dividing line between the two adjacent pitches as this will clearly exceed the two metre minimum.
4. We hope that your cricket balls and scorebooks will have arrived by the time this update is published-they were dispatched on Monday this week.
5. We reiterate that some clubs will have to cancel fixtures for reasons of ground and or player availability. It is down to those clubs to contact their match day opponents as soon as they can to give their opposition the chance to either provide a ground at which the match can be played. This may be on a Sunday or to arrange a friendly if no other option presents itself. Please note that the results system has been amended so that all matches not played through lack of ground or players will be described as having been cancelled and not conceded and 10 points will be awarded to each side. Please bear in mind that there will be no promotion or relegation this season and our main aim is to get as much competitive cricket played as we can in these unique circumstances.
6. The ECB have today issued further amendments to their ‘Return to Cricket Guidance Update in England.’ -which particularly relates to group sizes for junior cricket and nets training. Please familiarise yourselves which the amendment and the guidance in general.
7. All panel umpires will have been given guidance on the implementation of the new adaptations and match rules and they have been asked to speak to captains about such matters before matches. This may well include a short presentation to all players taking part in the match. Umpires are only human (as are the players) and sometimes there will be differing interpretations of what is new. Please bear with one another as it may take some time for the new normal to become ‘natural’.
Good luck to everyone this weekend and let us hope the truncated season will be a success.