|Mike Vimpany writes on his excellent blog ~ Vimps at the Crease|
Recreational cricket has received a major boost as the 2021 outdoor season got the green light from the UK Government.
From 29 March, organised team sports can be played again outdoors, which means club cricket should be able to start in April, assuming the ECB’s guidance is circulated in time.
It also opens up the possibility of the first cricket net of the year being around Easter which would be strange, were it not for what we’ve already experienced.
At the time of writing, the advice for recreational cricket is yet to be released from the game’s governing body but we have already gone through a season of adapted gameplay and know what’s achievable.
After months in national lockdown and only half a cricket season last year, it comes as a massive relief to all of us. And then there's an oasis in the desert. A pint after the game !
To get a full six months of cricket in will be a huge lift and clubs and leagues in Hampshire are well prepared.
Starting the season on time would mean the opening games for our teams sees H&D 's 1st XI have the opportunity to play at Hampshire's former ground Mays Bounty vs Basingstoke & North Hants II. Andy Murkitt will take his side across the Island to face Ventnor IIs a week later.
H&D 3rd XI travel to the lovely setting of The Quarters Hursley Park to face their 4th XI whilst H&D 4th XI are at home to Parley II.
If we’re to learn from last year, those volunteers running recreational cricket on the ground need as much time as possible to get ready. Prepping a club to be Covid-safe takes a lot to understand and action, if you’re doing it properly.
Clarity on points around spectators attending club cricket as well as what’s permitted in terms of offering cricket teas will be watched closely.
A season without cricket teas stirred up a hornet’s nest in club cricket. Clubs who resent the cost and effort of making them saw a chance to ditch them, having gone without due to Covid. Others, who think it’s an integral part of the day and pride themselves on teas, are hoping to get back to wedges of cake and massive sausage rolls. Oh and a pint after the game …
Watch this space ...