“Promising signs” ahead of a return to play for Gedling Colliery CC

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Adam Toms
Adam Tomshttps://pointsmoot.wordpress.com/
Adam has a keen interest in local politics and writes a number of articles for Gedling Eye covering local council activities and political issues affecting the borough.

Gedling Colliery Cricket Club are “really looking forward to getting back playing again” after the publication of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s roadmap on March 19 outlining a return to local play.

Outdoor organised sports will be allowed to continue from March 29 as part of the second step of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown.

The club proclaimed, “Promising signs!” via its Twitter account.

Club secretary, Matt McBride, states that the ECB’s guidelines suggest that play “will be very similar to the cricket [Gedling] played in July and August last season”.

This entails “frequent hand-sanitisation breaks” – every six overs – with “social distancing where possible and no teas!”

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When restrictions were introduced last year, “there was some concern about how the game would flow, but we very quickly got used to it and it didn’t seem to impact on players’ and spectators’ enjoyment of the game.” 

The ECB highlights how “Cricket is by nature a socially distanced game”, although still urges regular self-risk assessments for COVID-19 symptoms.

Changing rooms must also remain closed “except for disabled persons and emergency requirements”.

GAME ON: Outdoor organised sports will be allowed to continue from March 29 as part of the second step of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown.

There is also, as of September 2020, a legal requirement for establishments to “record participant and attendee contact details for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace”.

The risk will also be mitigated by players staying vigilant before and after matches, “avoid[ing] high-risk behaviour outside the cricket setting to reduce the risk to their fellow participants when they do attend.”

To this end, bubbles and the rule of six and/or limitation on the number of households mixing will also continue.

This includes “Participants continue to adhere to legal gathering limits before and after cricket activities”.

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Despite the return of matches, Mr McBride emphasises how the usual social and communal aspects of club membership will continue to be missed. 

“We normally have a full programme of events like quizzes, BBQs and presentation evenings and we continue to miss those.” 

“We have tried hard to do what we can with zoom quizzes, Q&As and some fund-raising challenges for individuals, but nothing really beats getting together and having a good old chat about cricket.”

Organised outdoor coaching and school cricket is expected to return on the same date if in accordance with government regulations and safeguarding ratios.

Indoor cricket and net practice will not return until April 12 at the earliest, whilst junior cricket activities are expected to resume on the same date.

This is subject to a government go-ahead on April 5.

The future of organised indoor cricket for adults will be reviewed on May 10, potentially returning the following week.

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