Following the ECB's announcement regarding the suspension of all recreational cricket activity, the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League has written to all clubs outlining its contingency plans during the Coronavirus outbreak.
League chairman David Young has set out the Three Stage plan which is being constantly evaluated in the light of the latest Government and ECB advice.
He said: "It is important that clubs know that our absolute priority is the health and welfare of everybody in the Bradford Premier League community, our players, officials, umpires, scorers, groundsmen, tea ladies, volunteers and supporters.
"These are unprecedented times and we appreciate the challenges facing our clubs and as a league we will do all we can by putting in the hard work and planning that is going to be needed in the coming weeks."
Here in full is the text of David Young's etter sent to all clubs.
Since our statement on Sunday things have escalated rapidly, and it would appear they are likely to continue on that trajectory over the next few days and weeks in these most uncertain of times. I therefore think it appropriate to share the Management Board’s longer term contingency plans with all our clubs at this point.
Prior to receipt, this afternoon, of the ECB communication we prepared a strategy for the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League, signposted by various stages, that is designed to avoid knee-jerk reactions and allow us breathing space to consider things rationally as they develop.
The strategy outlined is intended to be fluid and based on seeking to secure as much cricket as possible, but doing so on an informed basis, in a timely manner, with as much expert information to hand as possible and having the health and wellbeing of our clubs, players and officials as the main priority.
It should be stressed that simply because we have, at present, outlined three stages it does not mean each one will be implemented – indeed the exact structure of each stage is not set in stone and can be amended if circumstances allow.
For simplicity the current strategy is broken down into three stages as follows:
Cancellation of non-essential meetings/events in April including the pre-season meeting. This has now been activated and we will re arrange the pre-season clubs and match officials' meetings.
Postponing April’s fixtures and possibly moving them to later in the season. This stage would allow us time to see how things develop and place us in a position to make further informed decisions.
If we are unable to reinstate cricket during May/June it may be necessary to cancel the fixtures for the first half of the season and just play the second half. This would effectively mean perhaps not playing until the beginning of July. If this became a reality then we would have to consider if the competitions can be treated as competitive with promotion and relegation implications.
If this stage was actioned then we may also have to make amendments to cup competitions. We realise there may be some clubs who would be unable to field all their teams – that bridge to be crossed, in consultation with clubs, if we ever consider moving to this stage.
The advantage of invoking this stage would be that we buy some more time to assess the situation as we move through spring into summer when the epidemic is now being forecast to peak.
I want, once again, to stress that these stages are not set in stone, but they give us a reasonable template for action, with flexibility built in, to amend if circumstances dictate or allow.
We believe this plan gives us the time to consider each phase of the epidemic as it progresses, make decisions based on fact and is, at present, a structured approach to the current unprecedented situation. It is also, hopefully a helpful guide to our clubs. It would be the intention to try and keep you abreast of material developments, if and when they occur, including any further advice from the Governing Bodies.
During the last few days Board members have been contacted regarding advice in respect of overseas cricketers. This is, again, a complex subject not least the process to be followed when applying the timescales set out on the relevant visa e.g. collecting the Biometric Visa from the nominated post office within one month of arrival. The advice just issued by the ECB is:
The Government advises UK citizens against non-essential travel anywhere in the world until further notice. For any club with questions or concerns about currently contracted Overseas Players they should speak to the Agent, their legal representative and their committee before deciding on the next course of action.
Unfortunately the decision and risk for the player travelling, not withstanding current Government travel restrictions, is the Club’s responsibility. As usual Brian Pearson has agreed to provide, without prejudice, the best advice possible and can be contacted, by mobile, on 07867 780678.
Whilst I realise there will be many unanswered questions arising from this guidance we fully understand the concerns all our clubs have at the moment and if there are any issues arising out of this briefing that requires clarification please contact the League Secretary who will collate questions and email responses to all clubs. (by email at email@example.com please).