ECB gives go-ahead for nets in Staffordshire to re-open – but these guidelines must be followed

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has given guidelines on staying safe while using outdoor cricket facilities during the lockdown period in Staffordshire and the rest of the country.

This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that an unlimited amount of outdoor exercise and sport can be played in England, as long as it is with those from your household or one other person who isn’t from your household provided they maintain a two-metre distance.

The ECB re-affirmed that all recreational cricket remains suspended until further notice.

However, outdoor cricket facilities such as nets and pitches can be used as long as social distancing measures to maintained, and nets are used on an ‘every other’ basis allowing a net free between each practicing pair.

A spokesperson for the ECB said: “ECB is clear that outdoor facilities should only re-open if those responsible for them are ready to do so and they can do so safely, following public health guidance. No club should reopen their outdoor facilities if they feel unable to meet the requirements.

Nets and pitches can be re-opened again – but it is up to each club’s discretion

“Our primary and ongoing goal is to protect the health of everyone in and around the game. The adjusted lockdown restrictions provide an opportunity for the use of outdoor cricket facilities (nets and pitches) for the purpose of undertaking exercise.

“ECB has provided detailed guidance on the preparation and administration of outdoor facilities for clubs, and guidelines for participation for individuals.  The situation is evolving constantly, and we will continue to update our guidance as more information becomes available.”

The cricket authority said that one-to-one coaching is allowed but, again, social distancing regulations must be followed.

Clubhouses may only be re-opened for limited purposes, such as access to toilets or first aid, with with any indoor activity strictly prohibited.

If clubs decide to open their toilets, soap and water must be provided with players asked to bring their own personal hand sanitiser and equipment, ensuring they wash their hands at home before travelling to the nets or pitches.

Recreational cricket is still off the table for now

Furthermore, no saliva or sweat should come into contact with the cricket ball at any time.

The ECB says that clubs should operate a booking system so they can manage outdoor space and access to facilities, with a sanitising procedure between bookings.

It also emphasised that if individuals have symptoms of Covid-19 or are living in a household with someone who has, they should stay at home and follow Government advice.

Access points to the facilities should be labelled and closed signs should be displayed when the facility is not open for use.

All individuals should avoid taking public transport as much as it is possible to do so.

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