Return to Training / Return to Play

The following is an extract of a Press Release from Cricket ireland concerning Covid 19 and club cricket.

Return to training / Return to play

The Board received a detailed presentation about the COVID-19 impacts on the sporting landscape and the respective Governments’ roadmaps to reopening the Republic and Northern Ireland. This included review of a draft Safe Return to Cricket Policy, which will form the basis of Cricket Ireland’s submission to government with its plan for a gradual build-up of activity in line with Government phasing.

While we are aware that a small number of sports such as tennis, golf and athletics have been approved for a limited resumption of activity, it is clear from our engagement with Government that team sports in the Republic will be subject to a more gradual process of return. In this regard, we are seeking Government approval for limited club training to resume in June in line with Government phasing for those clubs able to meet the public health protocols. We will advise as soon as possible regarding the timing and detail of what will be required in order to re-start training.

While the Irish Government has set out specified timeframes they expect to meet if public health targets are met, the UK Government and NI Executive have not provided such definitive guidance yet, so further clarification is required before we can advise of a resumption date in Northern Ireland.

Warren Deutrom said about cricket’s response to COVID-19:

“We understand the desire for getting back on the cricket pitch and rest assured we are working hard to ensure this can happen. We would like to acknowledge the cricket community across Ireland for working with us to adhere to public health directives to date – your support has helped to save lives. Like pretty much every cricketer and family involved in cricket though, we want to see the sport resume at the earliest – however, it needs to occur in a managed way that prioritises the health and safety of the cricket community.”

“We have had excellent cooperation with the Provincial Unions, and it is commonly agreed that our response as a sport is to be public-health led, as we do not want cricket to be the reason for further outbreaks. We are working hard to ensure all the government health and safety measures and protocols are in place prior to the opening of any facilities and getting back to training, and will implement all necessary procedures for cricket to happen safely.”

“The draft plan we are finalising looks at how the mechanics of the sport (such as close-in fielders, slip cordons, ball-shining), sharing of equipment/facilities, temperature testing, at-risk participants (eg match officials over a certain age), even insurance liabilities, can all be properly understood to ensure we don’t expose any members of the cricket family to risk. The latter of these is a real risk for many clubs and sports authorities, and we are not alone in dealing with these challenges.”

“However, we have now seen a few sporting bodies successfully receive conditional approval to resume activity, so we view this as light at the end of the tunnel. However, this process will not be like flicking a switch unfortunately and the realities of formalising hygiene protocols and social distancing in a cricket context means we need to ask for continued patience from the cricket community while we work with Government, sports and health authorities on both sides of the border to see cricket resume in 2020.”