Like in so much of the world right now, the predominant mood in English cricketing circles is in confusion. Normally, anticipation is rising at this time of year for the forthcoming domestic season, a soothing and frequent presence on the sporting landscape. But this year it hasn’t. Instead, everything has changed with the Coronavirus pandemic, disrupting the existing order of things. Like for everything that who knows what’s going to happen next.
“It’s incredible,” Sam Cook, Essex’s fast-bowler, told a leading sports website from his home after all training was canceled by the club this week. “No one knows what’s going on at the moment. But no matter which line of work you’re in, everyone needs to keep themselves safe, keep the weak safe and do the right thing.
Gloucestershire did train on Monday (March 18), but their wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey acknowledged that the minds of the people were not especially focused.”Preseason games will begin in two weeks ‘ time but no one is sure what’s going on,” he said to a leading Sports Website. “It is rough. Yesterday we went in and there seemed to be headed everywhere. It’s hard to know what to do.”
Domestic Matches To Start In A Month:
The first-class domestic season is expected to start in four weeks ‘ time, but this will almost certainly be postponed given the advice from the UK government that the pandemic will possibly only peak in May in this region. Citizens were told to expect social distancing measures to be in place for a while which makes any possibility of cricket happening, even behind closed doors, unlikely in the near future.
Early June, England’s Test series against West Indies must also be in question. The problem that follows, then, is what happens to the season, one that has not yet started and may never start? It will undoubtedly be significantly curtailed and amended, even if it does happen at some point.
Choices For Rescheduling:
There are a variety of choices, including extending the season to October and scrapping certain tournaments, but given the rapidly changing situation, it is incredibly difficult to make any practical decisions. The ECB finds itself in an unenviable position.
Sensibly, they do not want to rush into things. They have a wide number of stakeholders to consult-not just the 18 First Class counties and considering that there are no competitive facilities planned until April 12, there was no real need for immediate decision making.
Nonetheless, time will run away quickly and all stakeholders need to have as much clarity as possible to help them handle this crisis. There are jobs and livelihoods to speak about as well as cricket.
Currently, the ECB is working with each of the 18 first-class counties to collect financial details, individual circumstances and insights into logistics. A meeting between county leaders and the ECB was held on Tuesday morning (March 17), and a further meeting will take place on Thursday where decisions will begin to be taken on the coming season. Many decisions may need to be forwarded for signoff to the ECB Board. It is likely to remain the mystery for some time.
At this point, neither the ECB nor the PCA provides counties with guidance as to whether they should be sending home staff and players. Instead, they leave it to control the individual counties. Many decisions may need to be forwarded for the sign- ECB Board. It is likely to remain the mystery for some time.
However, the ECB offers guidance if required and Dr. Nick Pierce, Chief Medical Officer of the ECB, is in frequent touch with all county CMOS. The Chief Executive of the PCA, Tony Irish is on the Health Advisory Committee of the ECB to represent the point of view of the clubs.