Date: 8th Jul 2020
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NOW TIME FOR CERTAINTY - PLANNING FOR A 1st AUGUST RESTART.

Date: 26th June 2020

NOW TIME FOR CERTAINTY - PLANNING FOR A 1st AUGUST RESTART.

Subject to go ahead sometime in July, we will deliver an 8 week Competition. (Many clubs need prep time. Those that don't free to play friendlies )

With almost half the season gone we fully understand everyone’s frustration at no cricket.

During this period our clubs have had machinery stolen, windows and doors smashed, a scoreboard trashed, been used as beer gardens, party venues and rubbish dumps, have been used for football training and in one case, taken over by travellers.  But still, no cricket, other than nets, under ECB guidelines a facility only just enjoyed by our three Welsh clubs, still currently limited to 5 miles travel.

It is now time for some certainty. 

Whilst disappointed at the progress between the ECB and the Government we do know and appreciate the work done by the ECB to get the game on, having been regularly involved in Zoom meetings. We also acknowledge the information and support from the Lancashire Cricket Foundation.

At the time of publishing this (Friday 26 June) it seems likely that agreement is about to be reached between the ECB and the Government about a restart of recreational cricket with some adaptions, i.e. the ECB’S Stage 4. As everyone knows this is a complex matter with the ball just one issue. Amongst others are, distancing, still officially 2 metres but even one metre will present issues and may have an effect on travel to away venues as well as the game itself; arrangements for opening of clubhouses, with those with bars subject to the same rules as pubs and clubs requiring adherence to the Government Guidelines contained in a 43 page Health and Safety Document , planning with umpires, and not the least important, preparation of the ground itself. We do know from the 100% return of the questionnaires that clubs are at a variety of stages of preparation. Some could start tomorrow and others will need a number of weeks. We also now know that dressing rooms will not be in use.

(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Keeping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars-takeaways-230620.pdf)

It is now time for some certainty.

The Comp Restart Group has confirmed the following:

  1. Following Government and ECB approval to restart recreational cricket from whatever date, Competitive Cricket in the Liverpool Competition will start on Saturday 1 August.
  2. If the start date is, as expected, sooner than that, then clubs are free to arrange friendly fixtures, as is the practice before any normal season.
  3. 1st and 2nd X1s Clubs will be placed in groups of four, to play three home and three away games. Week 7 (12 September) will be Semi-finals 1 v 4 and 2 v 3. Week 8 (19 September will be finals day together with a 3rd/4th play-off).

Note: 26 September remains free with a number of clubs indicating that they would have difficulty playing at home.

The 2nd X1 competition will be decided as a League after Week 6. In weeks 7 and 8, 2nd X1s will necessarily mirror their 1st X1s with two fixtures.

  1. As previously stated all games start at 12.00 with 1st X1 under Ray Digman KO rules and 2nd X1 under Chester Cup rules.
  2. 3rd X1 groups and fixtures are to be established for both Saturdays and Sundays to the same timescales with games to be played under Mike Leddy Cup rules.
  3. All group winners, 1sts 2nd s and 3rd s will receive rewards from Love Lane Brewing.

 

Make-Up of Groups

The Restart Group agreed on three principles when considering this whole issue. Safety – Travel – Competitiveness

The first of these should be taken care of by Clubs adhering to all the guidance from the Government and the ECB. We are very close to agreeing groups of four by striking a balance between travel and competitiveness but need a little more time to finalise arrangements. In addition we are working closely with other adjoining geographical leagues to ensure that all clubs, theirs and ours, have access to safe and competitive cricket.  We expect to publish details of the groups by 4 July.

Other Issues

We have agreed in principle to have a flexible approach to registration of players during this period and are currently finalising the details. We have however agreed that Overseas Players not currently in the Country will not now be registered to play in 2020. Overseas Players currently here now will be approved to play subject to individual application to the League and subsequent approval.

Junior Cricket

The group set up to arrange Junior Cricket during this period is shortly to make an offer to the 23 Junior Clubs in our League. (Others can join in but the group is aware that other junior leagues are making their own arrangements).

Subject to Government and ECB approval we are focussing on the Under 13 and Under 15 age groups and working in partnership with the MYC, will run geographical group competitions through the school summer holidays for clubs that wish to take part. Following feedback we believe that Under 18s will be involved in Senior Cricket and U11s can be adequately catered for with clubs organising fixtures themselves. It is intended to set up Under 9 groups to play on Sunday mornings, when parents will be available to accompany them.

Women’s and Girls

Paul Bate and his group are well advanced in preparing for a number of soft ball tournaments from 1 August and will be communicating this to all clubs in the near future.

 

John Williams on behalf of the Comp Restart Group.

26. June 2020

 

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