The ECB has sent clubs guidelines for what recreational cricket should look like when it resumes.
Recreational cricket in England has now moved to Step 4 on the ECB’s roadmap towards the return of the game following the UK government’s announcement last week that matches could resume from this week. Step 5 involves matches without any social distancing measures.
Matches in Step 4 – set to begin this weekend – will be 11-a-side and involve social distancing, with the total group size of participants present, including coaches and officials, not exceeding 30 people.
The use of sweat and saliva and the ball has been banned, with the ball and hands to be cleaned during every break – a ‘hygiene break’ is to be taken ever six overs or every 20 minutes, with the ball cleaned with an anti-bacterial wipe and hands with hand sanitiser.
When batters leave the field they should clean their bats, while wicketkeepers should do the same with their gloves.
Another radical change involves batters having to run in “distinct running lines” to ensure social distancing. Those lines are to be marked on the square on either side of the wicket at two-metre intervals.
Where 1m+ distancing will be allowed is for wicketkeepers standing up to the stumps and in the slip cordon.
Umpires will not be able to hold on to any personal items; bowlers will have to place any jumpers or caps at the boundary instead. Officials aren’t to handle the ball during the game either.
The ECB has also recommended players use their own equipment, but if shared, equipment should be cleaned before use by another person.
Prior to any cricket beginning, players will be expected to arrive at the ground changed and ready to play, if possible, and have been told to bring their own hand sanitiser.
Clubs have been advised to keep a record of all participants for 21 days to support the NHS’ Test and Trace system.
There won’t be any group teas; clubs are not allowed to prepare food with players having to bring their own.
Spectators are allowed but should remain socially distant and not come into contact with the ball.
Brought to you in association with NatWest, Wisden’s Club Cricket Partner, supporting cricket at all levels for almost 40 years and a proud partner of the ECB and Chance to Shine. NatWest CricketForce helps local cricket clubs to make more from their money through free online advice and toolkits.
Follow @NatWest_Cricket and #NoBoundaries on Twitter to find out more
Read more club cricket stories