The tough times continue, though with each passing week we move closer to a return to somewhere near normality.
We hope our regular email updates have been keeping you well informed!
You will hopefully have seen the latest update from the Sussex Cricket League that was sent through last week. It is a very good, and relatively concise, assessment of the current situation – please do read it.
Those that I have spoken to in the last few weeks in a variety of roles within the game have become slightly more optimistic that recreational cricket may be back in some form before the end of the summer, but it remains a little way off. We will, of course, keep you up to date.
In better news, there has been a significant change to what is permitted in terms of cricket training.
Pleasingly, as lockdown is slowly eased and a return to cricket moves closer, we welcome the news from the ECB that what they are calling “small group” training is now permitted. Groups of up to six people are now allowed to train together, provided social distancing is observed at all times and people use their own equipment wherever possible. Good hygiene is paramount, of course, too.
What this means is that groups of six can now net together – for example, five bowlers, socially distancing at the top of the run-ups, bowling to one batsman with their own ball, returned via the bat or foot, rather than thrown back, when this is possible. We are limited on this front by our facilities - most of you will be aware that the club does not currently have a suitable static netting facility at St Marks.
We do, however, have a mobile net, and given the relaxation of the restrictions we will now be taking bookings for use of the net. For the moment, this will be used in conjunction with the artificial track on the Sussex (bottom) Square; practice strips are to be cut on the square in the next week or so.
The ECB guidelines are very clear in outlining a number of key criteria that the club has to fulfil in order to open our facilities. This includes ensuring a club representative is on site while they are open, and a booking system for usage of the net.
Training sessions have begun with many members of the Colts set-up in the last few weeks since training (initially one-on-one), and these sessions have proved immensely popular, and will continue.
We have, for the moment, set aside several sessions for senior club bookings. If demand is high for further slots, we will work to find space in the schedule.
To make a booking, send an email to the secretary email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on available sessions. We will offer one hour slots for up to six people – please bring your own ball, batting gear, and hand sanitiser. Bookings will be taken on a first come, first served basis.
If you are symptomatic for COVID-19 or living in a household with a suspected case, please stay at home. We will work hard to make the best of this situation, but we must observe government guidance on social distancing and hygiene, including not using bodily fluids to shine the cricket ball, and we would ask that all are sensible and safe when using the ground.
In all situations will be adhering to the restrictions in place, for more information specific to training, please read our procedure: Use of Cricket Nets during COVID-19 Restrictions.