IT has finally happened. Cricket is back.
The regulations and guidelines were issued by Cricket Ireland last week and once clubs knew what was required of them, they didn’t waste time getting their houses in order so members could get back on the park.
PPE, signage, Covid Safety Officers being trained up, Covid committees being formed, aerial photos’ outlining the 6 training zones on grounds were all part of the to do list for clubs and once the 14 item risk assessment is signed off by the Munster Cricket Union (MCU) and CI its all systems go.
Cricket Leinster are the front runners with free Covid PPE and signage being issued to each clubs while the MCU clubs must front up the cost themselves but having talked with representatives for local clubs the fact that they can get the show on the road is like gold dus.
MCU General manager Joe Moynihan was delighted with the progress made. “The MCU hopes to have some of our clubs ready to go and their compliance protocols all in place by early this week and the remaining clubs being approved throughout the weeks ahead,” Moynihan said.
“The effort from clubs and volunteers has been outstanding and it is really encouraging to see how many clubs are keen to start training.
“We are well placed for clubs to start later this week and in the coming days we will start our on-site support visits to clubs along with the delivery of hygiene packs and Covid-19 Safety.”
Training is now a reality for the clubs within the MCU and they will get support from provincial Covid Safety Officers, who will available to provide guidance around the pre, during and post-session protocols but now another big challenge will arise for clubs around the delivery of Covid safe activities on the pitch.
The two areas of concern are purpose and enjoyment of training sessions. This is something all returning sports have to deal with but the way the guidelines have been set out with regards to returning to train, how does a team sport work in twos?
For the sessions to work effectively, each zone may need a coach.
This alone is going to prove difficult not only due to the potential lack of manpower but how do you set out challenging, fun, progressive, and outcome-based skill sessions, which integrates the mental, tactical, technical and physical performance factors.
The main thing is that cricket is back but now the coaching teams are entering a new world as well, where creativity and adaptability will be key to a successful return.