Cricket clubs urged to remain vigilant

Braunton Cricket Club away at Exeter

Braunton Cricket Club away at Exeter during the 2019 season - Credit: Sam Cooper

Cricket clubs in Devon have been urged to keep doing what they did last season to ‘get the game on’ when competitive matches restart next month.

The plea has gone out from Matt Theedom, managing director of Devon Cricket, who has been busy helping staff get ready for the start of the new season.

DCB coaches went back to work in schools this week delivering the Chance to Shine, All Stars and Dynamos cricket. All DCB staff are subject to two lateral-flow Covid-19 tests a week in line with government policy.

Subject to confirmation from the government, fixtures start during early April in the North Devon League and the Devon Women’s League. and from May 1 in the Tolchards Devon League. From early May all four county youth leagues will commence games.

It is highly likely some restrictions on changing arrangements, teas and showering after matches will be in place at the start of the season, although the hope is they will be lifted as the summer goes on.

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Cricketers got between six and eight weeks of league cricket in the final third of last season in a toned-down Devon League competition with mini-divisions and no promotions or relegations. The North Devon League did not play at all.

Although normal service is set to resume in both competitions, Theedom has told clubs not to think it is business as usual too soon.

Cricket clubs in Devon look forward to 2021 season

Cricket clubs in Devon are looking forward to the 2021 season - Credit: Sam Cooper

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“Clubs must be under no illusions that they can go back to doing what they have always done as they can’t,” said Theedom.

“What we proved in Devon last year was it was possible to play cricket in a safe environment if certain guidelines were followed.

“As far as I am aware no one caught Covid as a result of contact in a match, which proved clubs were doing everything right.

“Clubs will have to continue following whatever guidelines there are – and not just in matches.

“Training will be starting soon as nets are arranged and all the guidelines have to be followed, just as they were last year.

“We are pleased to see the Covid statistics coming down, but the virus has not gone away and clubs need to remember that.

“Everyone is excited about playing cricket again, but clubs have to make sure they are safe.

“It is important that clubs take the off-field guidelines incredibly seriously, as well as those in place on the field.

“It could only take one outbreak at a club for everything to be closed down again and no one wants that.”

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