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With this year’s shortened cricket season drawing to a close the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been working with counties and the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) in order to provide guidelines for cricket indoors. We are now in a position where the DCMS has approved the ECB Guidelines for cricket indoors and we can now share it.

The purpose of these guidelines is to offer practical guidance to venues, coaching providers and clubs on the steps they should take while undertaking cricket indoors. They should be read in conjunction with latest UK and Welsh Government regulations. These guidelines could change in response to the current COVID-19 Alert Level or other Government advice.

In order to keep cricket going as it moves indoors, there will need to be adaptations in place for all, including venues, coaching providers, players, parents/carers, spectators and officials. Those adaptations relate to activity prior to, during and after cricket activity. There are also adaptations from the Step 4 outdoor guidance. A summary of the adaptations is listed below but please read the full guidance (which is attached below) for comprehensive details.

Venues:

  • Carry out a COVID-19 Risk assessment, act on it, communicate it, publish it.
  • Include ventilation, occupancy, social distancing and cleaning as a minimum.
  • Implement and communicate control measures.
  • H&S, First Aid, Safeguarding and Access legislation and requirements remain in place.
  • Continually review and update.

Coaching Providers and Clubs:

  • Carry out a COVID-19 Risk assessment, act on it, communicate it, publish it.
  • Check venues when you hire them.
  • Plan and adapt your coaching activity to be COVID-19 compliant.
  • Plan and adapt pre-session and post-session processes to be COVID-19 compliant (including NHS Test & Trace requirements).
  • Allow time for handover between sessions.
  • H&S, First Aid, Safeguarding and Access legislation and requirements remain in place.

Participants:

  • Enjoy your cricket and enjoy it safely.
  • Cricket indoors is different from normal under COVID-19 and different from outdoor cricket under COVID-19, but everything will be explained to you – just follow guidance from your coaching provider or club.
  • Individuals should undergo a personal symptom check prior to all activity and not take part if they demonstrate any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You should maintain 2 m social distancing at all times.
  • Players should minimise handling of the ball in all activity, by limiting contact as it makes its way back to the bowler and using small groups in training.
  • No sweat or saliva should be added to the ball at any time.
  • Limit the sharing of equipment where possible. Where not possible, practice strict hand hygiene.
  • If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact your coaching provider or club.

To support delivery of cricket indoors the ECB have provided infographics, checklists for venue operators and coaching providers and clubs and a risk assessment template. All of these documents can be seen below and through the ECB Resource Hub here. A reminder to create an ECB Resource Hub account if you have not done so already.

Latest Government Announcements:

Yesterday, 22nd September, Boris Johnson announced a number of new measures and restrictions to help fight COVID-19 during the upcoming winter months. Included within these announcements was confirmation that Indoor Adult team sport would need to adhere to the rule of six. This announcement clearly creates a lot of uncertainty around what Cricket activity will be able to take place this winter. On the back of these Government announcements, Nick Pryde (ECB Director of Participation and Growth) issued the following update for Cricket Boards yesterday evening:

I am sure you will have seen the Prime Ministers announcements today relating to new COVID-19 restrictions. As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will be working in close partnership with both the Welsh and UK Governments to understand the impact and detail of these announcements. Given many of these announcements are proposed to be in place for much of the winter period, this has the potential to impact many parts of the recreational game. We will endeavour to provide an update shortly, particularly in relation to indoor cricket once we have more information.

So, what this means is that we will now need to wait for the detailed guidance to be issued by Government to National Governing Bodies with regards what the new measures mean for adult indoor team Sport. This may mean a revision to some of detail contained within the ECB’s Guidance for Cricket Indoors that was issued last week.

At this stage, we feel it is important for us not to pre-judge what the changes will mean for recreational cricket this winter. Instead, we must wait for the detail to be produced and this will then help to guide us through this winter in terms of re-opening of the Centre of Excellence in the coming weeks and what we can/cannot do and deliver.

As always, we will keep the club network informed as and when we receive any further news or updates.