Latest Statement from Cricket Ireland

The latest statement from Cricket Ireland promises Return to Play protocols by the end of the week and an updated Return to training [based around government movement to Phase 3 of relaxation from 29th June.

The full text of the CI statement is as follows:

“We are delighted to see the Irish Government’s accelerated timetable for the resumption of competitive sport in the Republic and hope to see a matching statement in Northern Ireland soon. We’re working collaboratively and at-pace with the Provincial Unions and other stakeholder groups within the sport to enable clubs to move positively towards competitive action. However, the Government announcement last Friday was just a pre-cursor to the actual resumption of play, as there are a number of steps to take before competitive matches begin.”

“Consultation has continued this week with Sport Ireland, Unions, umpires, players and other stakeholder groups on the Return-to-Play protocols. This should be completed by the end of the week and we will then have an update on the implementation of safe return-to-play protocols for all stakeholders. The health and safety of players, officials, volunteers and the wider community will remain at the forefront of our decision-making.”

“Return-to-play will not mean a return to normal, and we will address changes and required risk mitigation activities in the protocols. This will involve continuing with a number of the measures outlined in the return-to-training protocols, but a number of playing-specific protocols will be introduced to complement playing regulations. Shining of the ball with saliva or sweat still is still prohibited in accordance with ICC directives, and the implications of social distancing with respect to umpires, wicketkeepers, the non-access to changerooms and how we deal with spectators are just a few aspects that the new protocols will be required to cover. Even how to handle rain delays with social distancing given restricted access to indoor spaces and how this can be managed within clubhouses will need to be considered.” 

“In addition, we have to acknowledge that many umpires, match officials and volunteers around clubs are in vulnerable age categories, so we all need to be mindful of the health risks to those within the cricket family who may need to continue to shield from the virus.”

“In the meantime, we have today released an updated advisory that expands training ratios immediately, and can advise that full return-to-training can commence from 29 June in the Republic, contingent upon the Government announcing a community-wide move to Phase 3. There is a divergence between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland at this point and we are awaiting government advice on Northern Ireland’s move to Step 3. However, with the work currently ongoing by Cricket Ireland, Unions and clubs, we are in a position to act immediately once the NI Executive provide a date for the commencement of Step 3.” 

“We continue to be grateful to the whole cricket family for their cooperation and understanding, and rest assured we are all working as quickly as possible in order to get cricket action back underway.”