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PM Boris Johnson explains why it isn’t safe to resume club cricket

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Speaking in the House of Commons, UK prime minister Boris Johnson explained why it isn’t yet safe to resume the playing of recreational cricket yet, describing the cricket ball as “a natural vector of disease”.

The government has announced that the next stage of easing of the lockdown restrictions, initially put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, that will come in from July 4. The two-metre distancing rule will be reduced to a one-metre-plus rule, and pubs, restaurants, cinemas and museums allowed to reopen.

However, when asked whether the change meant cricket could be played safely, Johnson replied in the negative. “Can [Johnson] now specify whether the ban on cricket has come to an end?” asked Conservative MP Greg Clark. “Cricket is perhaps our most socially-distanced team sport. We’ve lost half the summer, but there is another half left to be enjoyed by players and spectators alike.

“This goes to the point that I was trying to make to the house earlier, because everybody will want to add something onto the great wheelbarrow of measures that we’re making and at a certain point, there will come a straw that breaks the camel’s back,” replied Johnson.

“The problem with cricket, everybody understands that the ball is a natural vector of disease. At any rate, we’ve been round it many times with our scientific friends, at the moment, we’re still working on ways to make cricket more Covid-secure but we can’t change the guidance yet.”

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

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