Like most sports, cricket at all levels in the game has not been played so far this Spring and Summer. While there is talk of some international games taking place from July in empty grounds, there are no clear plans for village cricket to resume at the time of writing.
Adding to the frustration for all local clubs has been the fantastic early season weather. Despite that, we have been keeping the cricket square at the Windmill in a condition that will enable us to get games going quite quickly, should a start be announced. Before the pandemic struck, the Club had been enjoying indoor nets at Sibford School and had welcomed a few newcomers to our ranks.
We have also held an On-line Club Quiz event that was well attended and have received much generous support from Vice-Presidents, members and friends, either in the form of donations, or by joining our 49 Club fundraiser. As sponsorship and advertising income has naturally dried-up and with no match-day income, the gifts we have received have been most welcome in the current difficult times.
One other positive piece of news is that we have had our nets refurbished, with new netting and a good clean of the matting. This was done with the help of a match-funding Grant from the Parish Council, in recognition that the nets are a general Village amenity. The Club is very grateful for this support. Currently only one is in operation and can only be used by Club members in accordance with ECB and UK Government regulations. We hope to open-up their use In the near future.
As stated above ECB and Pubic Health England guidelines now allow for the use of cricket nets under strict guidelines. The link to these is below, but the essence is that nets can be used by a maximum of two people from different households ( more, if from the same household) at any one time and social distancing regulations must be observed. People should use separate balls and equipment, that should also be kept separate. Users will have to supply their own stumps set, or it Club ones are used from the Pavilion, they must be sanitised with a wipe before and after use. As the regulations state that adjacent nets cannot be used, only one of the nets at the Windmill is operational at present. The bowling machine should not be used at the moment.
Use of this net must be booked via the Google sheets booking sheet which has been shared with members.
The sight screens need to be returned to the position across the end of the nets once a booked session has been completed.
This will be a poor substitute to the real thing but at this time anything is better than nothing! Hopefully there will be the opportunity for us to return to real cricket later in the summer.