You will probably have seen the information from the ECB sent out today, but it is reproduced below. Your League officials have been keeping in daily contact as this crisis has escalated over the last 10 days. We don’t have a crystal ball, so we don’t know how this unprecedented emergency will develop over the next weeks and months, but much more than our beloved sport is threatened.
I think we can now say with some certainty that the 2020 season will not start on time, and it is possible that there will be no cricket in 2020. However we intend to keep the fixture list as circulated so that we are ready to go if and when the guidance changes as we move into the summer. We agreed at the last LMC that if the first month of the season was affected then all cancelled games would be treated as if they were rained off. That now looks wildly optimistic and if it becomes clear that there will be just a short window in the calendar for cricket then we’ll look at what can be arranged to give some meaningful competition.
The ECB has suggested that there may be financial support available. Until it’s clear what form that takes we hope that clubs will be able to manage to identify areas where they can cut costs to save money. We have asked the ECB whether they will provide advice on this e.g. on whether insurance policies can be deferred. In the absence of advice from the centre, we’d encourage clubs to share any ideas that they have.
We have stopped production of the Handbook to save costs to clubs, although there are some typesetting costs already incurred. We’ll look at what we can do to reduce or waive League fees for 2020. All scheduled meetings are cancelled, including the Captains’ meeting on 6 April and the umpires’ meeting on 25 March.
Sadly all our plans for the future are on hold, whether that’s holidays, family events or nights out in the pub. You are receiving this email because cricket or your cricket club is important to you. We need to protect what we have the best that we can and use our great sport as a way of bringing people back together once the crisis passes. Most importantly, we hope that everyone stays safe.
“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."