Cricket Ireland working on a return to training and matches

Cricket Ireland working on a return to training and matches
Sid Joshi makes a fine catch, during a training session of the Cork County Cricket Club, at the Mardyke two summers ago. Picture: David Keane.

WITH the likelihood of training resuming sometime in early June on the cards, players are now starting to think of when matches might be allowed.

The answer is no one knows but it’s best to plan for or have multiple plans, in the event of different scenarios arising.

Cricket Ireland has submitted a 'return to train' document to the necessary authorities and if it gets the green light, then players will be allowed to begin training in very small groups under strict safety guidelines and with the required levels of supervision.

It will be a welcome dose of encouragement for all cricketers to get back to the game they care about so much but that, of course, will be dependent on not only the CI submission getting the ok but also, all of us doing our bit to successfully come through phase 2 of the government's roadmap to reopen the country.

The Munster Cricket Union (MCU) fixtures secretary Joe O’Mahony is staying positive while at the same time being really cautious around the topic of competitive games taking place.

“The reality is that no-one has any idea what may or may not be possible when it comes to leagues and cups in 2020.

“We are of course governed and guided by CI, so when they say it’s ok to play then we will then have to look at what we can come up with based on the time remaining in the season.

“The positive side of starting late is the weather is normally pretty good in September and even into October so we might be able to extend our season and start games earlier to cater for the changes in the evening autumn light,” said the Douglas man.

“If we are to have a season, the main goal will be participation for all cricketers.

“It is likely that, should we get the go-ahead from Cricket Ireland for the end of July, one of the things we’re looking at is a short T20 competition followed by a league with maybe one round of fixtures.

“A major stumbling block for this might be travelling due to the fact that we have clubs in Kerry, Limerick, Waterford and Galway in our leagues.

“The Covid rules around distance and the amount of people in cars may mean regional competitions of sorts, where we have teams in close proximity playing against each other.

“There may be enough time for a full set of fixtures in the 50 over format. There may just be a T20 league.

“These are all ideas but we’re planning for all eventualities in the hope that we get some form of competitive action this year.”

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