This statement applies to changes in England following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January of new national lockdown restrictions.
Wales continues to remain in a national lockdown since 19 December with all cricket activity suspended with a review expected later this week.
In England, ECB can confirm that unfortunately, all indoor and outdoor privately owned cricket facilities will now need to close for all but elite cricket activity and disability cricket outdoors.
Cricket clubs in public open spaces such as parks can continue to provide outdoor spaces for individual permitted activity.
The Government has confirmed that:
You can exercise in a public outdoor place:
- by yourself
- with the people you live with
- with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
- in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
- or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household
Public outdoor places include:
- parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
- public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
- the grounds of a heritage site
Any public outdoor place used for permitted individual cricket exercise activity should be suitable and safe for the type of cricket activity taking place. You must ensure that you have sought and gained permission to use facilities in a public open space and that it is safe to do so. If a club or local authority have closed cricket facilities within a public open space they should not be used.
There is a risk that during the winter both natural turf cricket squares and non-turf surfaces can be damaged when wet, frozen or snow-covered. These conditions also increase injury risk to participants.
Furthermore, essential safety equipment such as netting may have been removed. Therefore, facilities should not be used unless they are safe and will not be damaged. Where cricket can take place, adequate measures must be taken to keep warm and minimise injury risk, including to other members of the public sharing the open space. You should be considerate to other users of the public open space.
You can also continue to go to work if your work cannot be undertaken from home. So people employed or volunteering to work on grounds maintenance over the winter can continue to do so subject to suitable COVID risk assessment and control measures being in place. Further information on winter maintenance of cricket grounds under COVID can be found on the Grounds Management Association website.
Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the country and as we have done throughout the pandemic, the health and wellbeing of everyone in the cricket family remains our number one priority. For the time being, the message from Government is to stay home unless necessary.
Cricket as we know is a naturally socially distanced sport that is safe to play and gives people of all ages the opportunity to exercise with friends or relatives. We know how important cricket is for people’s physical and mental health and we will continue to liaise with the Government for us to come back as soon as possible.
We know that this is incredibly disappointing and frustrating news for all involved with the game, as well as presenting further significant financial challenges. Further information on current financial support available from Government this week. and the ECB will also continue to engage with the Government to help ensure that the cricket community is supported through the coming weeks and months.
The Government has confirmed that elite sport is able to continue in line with the strict protocols and measures that are in place for it.
Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is also allowed to continue, and we will provide further detail here on this once we have information from the Government.
The Government has advised that this guidance should be followed immediately, and will be updating the law to reflect the new rules.
We understand there will be a review of the restrictions on 15 February.