Cork cricket clubs accept the new season is likely to be seriously reduced

Cork cricket clubs accept the new season is likely to be seriously reduced
Ruadhán Jones of Cork Harlequins plays a shot during the Munster Premier Division match against County Kerry at the Oyster Oval, Tralee in 2018. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

LIKE all sports within these shores and beyond, Cricket Ireland has had to put all sporting activity on hold for the time being.

Their season was due to start this month, but now won't commence until at least late May.

A statement explained: “In consultation with the Provincial Unions, we have decided to extend the suspension of all cricket competitions under our auspices until at least May 28.

“The postponement of the start of the season will allow us to observe government directives and public health protocols, and ensure the welfare and safety of our volunteers, players, staff, coaches, and families within the cricket community, and we will take all necessary actions to do our part in limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.”

It was to be expected but it’s important for all concerned to have timelines, even if they are fluid.

Cork Harlequins were gearing up for their season which was due to begin on the third week of April and we spoke to their secretary, Chris Hickey, about the impact of Covid-19 on their club.

“We immediately stopped all activities, including training, preseason fitness work and arrangement of friendlies. I feel particularly for the players as they were embarking on some final fine-tuning for the upcoming season to get them into a position to hit the ground running,” said the Carrigaline man.

For a club with four adult and five youth teams, it’s now a case of preparing itself for whatever solutions the Munster Cricket Union can come up with when the time comes around. There is also the matter of the preparation of grounds at a crucial time in the season for all clubs, where important work is done to get the square and outfield in a state of readiness.

“It brought important prep to a halt which will have detrimental impact once season begins. Seeding, fertilising, rolling of outfield, prep of grass wickets are a Spring activity, along with the general tidying job that needed doing in all parts of the club.”

There is also the loss of income for the club with regards to subscriptions, hosting MCU matches, venue hire, provincial training and other things.

“The whole thing is an exercise to remind us of the importance of sport in our everyday lives and the benefit and value that belonging to a club can bring to each individual. However, it also puts sport and cricket into perspective when so many have lost loved ones or their livelihood,” added Hickey.

Team coach Steve Kruger giving instructions during a training session of the Cork County Cricket Club, at the Mardyke. Picture: David Keane.
Team coach Steve Kruger giving instructions during a training session of the Cork County Cricket Club, at the Mardyke. Picture: David Keane.

The important thing for everyone now is to stay at home and save lives. Once we get past this, the thinking caps will have to be put on by the national and provincial administrators about how best to fit a four and a half month season into a three or even a two-month campaign.

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