Some concerns were raised last week about the knowledge around the restrictions in place. Please ensure ALL your players are aware of the content of the below message.
Match and Pre-Match Protocol
Please note, this document is not a comprehensive record of the steps to be taken before and during the game. That information is all available via the ECB website and may be subject to change so everyone should be aware of this. This document is to highlight some of the issues observed during the first round of matches within the Northern League / Palace Shield set up.
The home club should contact the visitors with details of the matchday set-up at the ground at least 48 hours before the game. If they have trouble finding a contact, they should get in touch with either league secretary to get help. Once contact is made, the two captains should ensure they have contact details for the morning of the match in case of bad weather.
If there are likely to be any issues with the weather which are likely to cause a delayed start, the two captains should get in touch to discuss the issues. At level 1 or 2, they should also involve at least one of the panel umpires for the game. Most of the games are local so, if there is no chance of a start on time, it would be better if all parties can agree to a delayed arrival. If there is a dispute over this, it may be better if the captains and one or more umpire only travel to the ground to assess the situation and the remaining players on both sides only travel when necessary.
It would appear that some teams are still arranging to meet pre-match before travelling. This should not be necessary as most people will be travelling separately. Furthermore, a side playing away should not arrive early at their home ground for a net before leaving.
Players on both sides are reminded that they are supposed to travel to the game ready to play and to arrive no more than 30 minutes before the start. Some of the home team may need to be there earlier to help set things up but they should have agreed roles and time of arrival. On completion of their work, they should sanitise all the equipment and wash / sanitise their hands before joining their team mates. All practice should be in small groups and take place in the half hour before the game. Anyone arriving earlier than 30 minutes before the start should either remain off the premises or remain in their car on the car park.
From their arrival at the ground to the end of the match, the players and officials are considered to be part of a bubble. Up to 30 people may be in this bubble to allow for coaches etc. However, anyone who wishes to mix with the teams in this way must remain as part of the bubble for the duration of the game. For example, if a groundsman works with players at the interval, he is considered part of the bubble and must sit with the players. The members of this bubble should practise social distancing amongst themselves but it is recognised that this is not always possible during play. However, in intervals or when waiting to bat, the players should remain 2m distance from each other, remain on the ground and only enter the clubhouse to visit the designated toilets.
Whilst the members of the bubble should try to maintain social distancing, this is mandatory for those attending the game as spectators. Clubs should make every effort to ensure that appropriate signage is up; that there is a designated area for each team with sufficient room for the whole team to be present and socially distanced; that all walkways and entries to the indoor areas such as the clubhouse are clearly signed and kept clear; that spectators are encouraged to spread out into all the available space rather than congregating.
In some shortened games last week, there were a number of balls hit out of the ground. Spectators should not be handling the ball to throw back to the fielders. If a ball is lost, it should be the batting side that search for the ball. If it is handled by a spectator and returned, the ball should be sanitised before further use. Furthermore, any person handling the ball in such circumstances should be told to go and santise their hands immediately.
Please ensure ALL players are aware of these measures which were put in place by the ECB in order to get permission from the government for recreational cricket to start again. If these measures are seen as being ignored, there is a serious danger that the season will be curtailed. So, whilst it may seem odd to be told to turn up just before the start and begin the game after a quick warm-up, it is part of the protocol that we all must follow.