Tolchards Devon Cricket League - 2020 season will not start on time

PUBLISHED: 12:29 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:29 30 March 2020

A set of cricket stumps ahead of the start of play in a Tolchards Devon Cricket League match,. Picture STEVE BIRLEY

A set of cricket stumps ahead of the start of play in a Tolchards Devon Cricket League match,. Picture STEVE BIRLEY

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The Tolchards Devon Cricket League will not start in May following advice from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO.

Tom Harrison issued a statement to all recreational cricket clubs recommending that all forms of cricket be suspended.

In the letter, Harrison said: “Following the Government’s latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness and reluctance that we recommend that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended.

“This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.

“Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities - particularly at junior levels.

“It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led.

“We will continue to work with Government and their advisors and our brilliant people to ensure we are properly informed in our decision-making.

“Let’s look forward to that moment when we start to see children and players from across the game, playing cricket again – hopefully that moment is not too far away.”

The first match of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League was due to begin on the first Saturday of May. League secretary Ed Leverton said: “The Tolchards Devon Cricket League and the Devon Women’s Cricket League understand both the disappointment and potential hardship that this will cause our member clubs.

“However, the current spread of the virus is unprecedented, and we firmly endorse the action taken by our national governing body. Consequently, there will be no League cricket in the foreseeable future or until such time as the Government advises that it is safe for recreational sport to resume.”

National cricket has also be affected with England’s tour of Sri Lanka cancelled and future summer Test matches in doubt.

England’s Test summer is set to begin with a three-Test series against the West Indies on June 4 followed by a T20 and ODI series against Australia but all three look increasingly doubtful.

The ECB announced no cricket will be played until May 28 at the earliest meaning the first seven rounds of the County Championship will not take place.

Harrison has also said the “most financially important forms of the game” will be prioritised so the T20 Blast and the newly-formed Hundred will likely be given more chance to complete the whole season at the cost of the County Championship.

Former England captain Alaistair Cook has said he would prefer no red-ball tournament this summer than to have a County Championship of only three or four games.


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