With the cricket season temporarily suspended, amateur cricket clubs have explained the effect Coronavirus has had on their clubs.
As of the 18th March, the English Cricket Board decided to suspend all forms of recreational Cricket including training. The ECB say that their decision was ‘with great sadness’ but it is in line with the government’s social distancing measures.
Its with great sadness that we share the following message. Rightly, the ECB have made a decision in line with a number of sporting bodies, to suspend all recreational cricket including pre-season and winter nets. We will be cancelling any winter nets that currently are scheduled pic.twitter.com/Moo7WHylMF
— Bentley Cricket Club (@BentleyCC_) March 18, 2020
As a result of this decision, many local cricket clubs first feared that they wouldn’t be able to fund themselves without any revenue. Rob Steadman, chairman of Aldridge Cricket Club, explained the financial impact coronavirus has had and also the support the ECB have given.
Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the cricket season, there are now a number of trending challenges online for people to get involved with, like how many times you can hit a tennis ball with a cricket bat in one minute.
— Jacob Whittle (@JacobWhittle11) April 29, 2020
With the playing season suspended indefinitely, a lot of clubs have taken to their social media in order to keep their playing members and supporters occupied during lock down. 128 clubs entered an online voting poll to find the best supported club in the country with proceeds going to help fund local cricket clubs.
128 Clubs from across the UK have been entered into the Twitter Poll – Club Knockout.
If you'd like to make a donation or supply a prize that the winning club can auction off to raise some funds during this difficult time. Please do get in touch. https://t.co/tu9FBeBP5r pic.twitter.com/SpAhOXMm63
— Sixes and Wickets 🏏 (@SixesANDwickets) April 5, 2020
“It was a great way to stay COMPETITIVE ” MATT ALLEN – Mildenhall Cricket
One of the cricket clubs involved in the competition was Mildenhall Cricket Club from Suffolk. Mildenhall got to round four of the knockout competition with cricketers such as IPL star Tymal Mills supporting them throughout. Mildenhall first team player Matthew Allen said the competition was “a great opportunity to build a better a better reputation for the club while raising much needed funds”.
With their season suspended, Mildenhall have decided to play their fixtures in an online format with a virtual dice. All of the teams in their league have agreed to also do the same to provide some normality to Saturdays in Suffolk. Matthew Allen said that the virtual system “was an unusual idea at first” but later said that “it has been a fun way to stay in contact with team mates”.
VIRTUAL DICE GAME RULES
A 10 ov game is played via the website https://t.co/incsR0TYsu
The game is played with 2 unique dice; a batting die & an umpire die. The batting die has options 1,2,3,4,6 & ‘owzthat’. The umpire die has bowled, caught, stumped, LBW, No Ball & Not Out. pic.twitter.com/NyIMo4nIkx
— Mildenhall Cricket Club (@MildenhallCrick) April 25, 2020
The new online format is likely to be the closest that we will get to some form of cricket for the foreseeable future. But with Mildenhall currently unbeaten after two virtual games they’ll be hoping to replicate their virtual form to reality when the season does eventually start.