THE Vivio Cheshire County Cricket League – the competition in which Warrington and Grappenhall play – is making plans for a shortened season – but not starting until after August 1 at the earliest.
League chairman David Humpage, in a message to all member clubs, says it is not certain that any recreational cricket will be allowed by the English Cricket Board (ECB) this year.
But the league has been giving thought as to what might be possible if the green light is given after August 1.
He said: “It is our view that to maximise the cricket available that we should concentrate on the 20/20 format and try to ensure that players have as much opportunity to play competitively as possible. Ideally this will involve all teams playing two meaningful matches on each day, up to and including some form of finals day scenario. We feel that the competitions should be regionalised as much as possible, as data from a recent umpire’s survey and potential track and trace requirements suggest that travel should be minimised.
“We are looking to stage cricket for 1st.and 2nd.Xl teams on Saturdays, leaving the Sundays free for Women’s Cricket and 3rd.Xls.
“The league will not organise any fixture outside the period from August 1 to mid-September. Beyond that date not only are some grounds unavailable through alternative sports, but the groundsmen will need to undertake their end-of-season treatment to ensure that the grounds are in top condition for 2021. Clubs will be free to arrange friendly games later in the year if they wish.”
The UK Fast Cheshire Cricket League, in which all other local clubs play – Appleton, Lymm Oughtrington Park, Glazebury and Stretton – says if any cricket proves possible it will be in a truncated form so there will be no promotion and relegation. The only exception to this will be if a team is lost or a new team wants to join the league.
In a statement, the league says: “It is important that we do our utmost to keep all our clubs alive, and our grounds are not allowed to deteriorate. The Cheshire Groundsman’s Association have been asked to keep an eye out for possible situations where elderly groundsmen cannot carry out their usual duties due to the current crisis, and to offer assistance, wherever possible, to keep the playing areas up to standard even if we are not actually playing on them.”