The ECB have today issued detailed guidance for clubs on the return to use of cricket grounds for outdoor practice.
It is specifically aimed at one-to-one net practice and follows the Government's changes to its advice regarding sport and physical activity.
The ECB document outlines the measures that clubs must take if they are allow net practice at their ground while the suspension of all recreational cricket activity remains in place.
In there email sent to all clubs via Play Cricket they say: "ECB is clear that outdoor facilities should only reopen 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."
They also reaffirmed the current position regarding the playing of cricket. "ECB maintains the position that all recreational cricket remains suspended until further notice, with the sole exception of the use of outdoor cricket facilities (nets and pitches) for the purpose of undertaking exercise as set out in our detailed guidance document.
"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."
Summary of guidelines for outdoor cricket facilities use
- You can exercise outdoors on your own, with members of your household or with one other person from outside your household while keeping two metres apart at all times. You must only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless you are exercising exclusively with members of your household.
- Social distancing of at least two metres must be maintained at all times (unless all participants are members of the same household).
- Only one-to-one coaching is permitted per session.
- Nets should be used on an ‘every other’ basis, leaving one net free between nets.
- Clubhouses can be reopened in a limited way for operational reasons (e.g. for access to first aid equipment) or for toilet access (see below) but all communal areas including bar, changing rooms etc are to remain closed for general use.
- Toilet facilities can be opened if the venue wishes, but particular care should be taken by those using them and those cleaning them. Where they are open, venues must ensure soap and water is provided.
- No indoor activity at all.
- We recommend using your own equipment if possible. If equipment is being shared, please follow UK Government’s guidance on the sharing of equipment.
- No saliva or sweat should come into contact with the ball at any time.
- Wash hands at home before and after using the outdoor facilities. Bring your own hand sanitiser where possible.
For clubs, you will need to have the following in place:
- Properly maintained facilities.
- A booking system for outdoor space or other means to manage access and demand.
- The capability to advise individuals when booking to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and in turn to advise individuals when booking that - in line with current Government guidance - if they are symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if they are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, they should remain at home and follow Government guidance.
- A sanitation procedure between use/bookings.
- A representative of the club on site during the hours that the outdoor facilities are open for use.
- Closed signs should be displayed when facilities are not open (including where a club does not wish to or is not ready to reopen) to deter use by general public particularly where there is open access.
- Updated signage and access points.
- Seek confirmation from the club that it has reopened and make a booking.
- Check for symptoms of COVID-19. In line with current Government guidance, if you are symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, you should remain at home and follow Government guidance.
- Avoid public transport if at all possible.
Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League chairman David Young said: "It is important that clubs read the document carefully and follow the ECB advice if they decide that they wish to allow net practice at their ground. This is a decision which each club must consider for themselves. They must be mindful of the responsibilities outlined in the advice as the health and safety of everybody has to be the number one priorityy."
Click here to see the full advice