In a long-awaited development, the English Cricket Board (ECB) has allowed up to six people to practise and train together in the Cricket Nets.
The new ECB guidelines offer practical guidance on undertaking recreational and informal cricket activity in an outdoor setting whilst complying with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions imposed by the Government.
Being from the ECB, these guidelines only apply to cricket clubs and players in England. Guidance relating to cricket in Wales can be found here.
Consistent with UK Government guidance in relation to the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation, the following guidelines apply to outdoor cricket:
- For all activity, social distancing of at least two metres must be maintained at all times (except between members of the same household).
- Playing cricket individually is permitted e.g. practice of individual cricket skills or fitness activities.
- Playing cricket with people living in your household is permitted.
- Small group cricket activity, training or fitness in groups of no more than six (6), is permitted, keeping two (2) metres apart at all times.
- Cricket coaches, can now undertake small group sessions of up to six (6) people including the coach (1:5) and they must comply with ECB safeguarding policies (as well as being able to conduct one-to-one coaching).
- Nets should be used on an ‘every other’ basis, leaving one net free between nets. Note that for nets within a security fence, occupancy numbers could be limited by social distancing requirements.
- It is permissible for two or more groups of six (6) to train at the same time provided they are kept separate, and social distancing and strict hygiene measures are observed. However, clubs should carry out a risk assessment to determine the maximum capacity for their facility that can be achieved safely whilst maintaining social distancing and not exceeding the current limits on training group size.
- 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 bars, 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 and they are cleaned regularly.
- No indoor cricket activity at all.
- ECB recommends using your own equipment if possible. If the equipment is being shared, please follow the UK Government’s guidance on the sharing of equipment. Players should stick to using one ball in training either by bringing their own or being assigned a numbered ball that is cleaned in between sessions.
- No saliva or sweat should be applied to the ball at any time.
- Wash hands at home before and after using the outdoor facilities. Bring your own hand sanitiser where possible.