Greater Manchester Cricket League postpones season start as all recreational cricket is suspended by ECB

Date published: 20 March 2020

All forms of recreational cricket are suspended for the foreseeable future, says the ECB, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The board released the following statement on Wednesday 18 March: “Following the government’s latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness and reluctance that we recommend that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended.

“This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.

“Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities - particularly at junior levels.

“Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months.

“It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led. And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.

“Over the coming weeks we will work with the game to understand what support is required across the cricket community, particularly local clubs and leagues - who will have such a huge role to play in our nation’s response to coming out of this situation.”

Andrew Micklethwaite, chairman of Thornham Cricket Club, said: “The Greater Manchester Cricket League has postponed the start of the season, a position which the club agrees with wholeheartedly. Safety of our players and members is paramount. The advice from the ECB is that all recreational cricket is suspended. No concrete timescales can be put forward for when or if cricket will be safe to be played this season – the club will provide an update whenever it knows more.

“In line with the ECB’s advice, the club will now be suspending all of our recreational cricket activity. This includes any friendlies, indoor and outdoor nets, and junior cricket arranged by the club.

“In terms of club opening hours, no advice has been received or instruction given regarding closure. As such, the club will remain open to its members as per normal on Monday and Friday evenings. We do however encourage our members to follow government advice regarding social distancing and look after themselves, particularly if you are in the ‘vulnerable’ category. This is a stance which can and will change in line with government advice.

“Private functions will no longer be taken up until the end of April, and this position will be reviewed in time. This is to assist with the government effort to control mass gatherings, and also to protect our volunteers from unnecessary exposure to the virus.”

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