THE Munster Cricket Union operations committee met online to discuss the upcoming season and focus on the topic of league and cup competitions throughout all the local divisions in the province.
One way or the other, whatever plans they come up with, are going to have to include a lot of flexibility due to the fact that there are no guarantees that a full uninterrupted season, will take place. The secretary of the operations committee, Joe O’ Mahony said that they decided to plan for a Covid free season first and this will be more complicated than the season that they had last year.
“This season we are planning to have four divisions, as per 2019, of limited over cricket with three limited-overs cups. We are delighted to announce that there is an increase in new clubs coming to play in the leagues and an increase in the number of teams that will participate.”
It’s a positive way to approach the situation but there has to be an element of caution due to the current uncertainty around how the next number of months will play out.
“Should we face the same restrictions as last year we have decided that the same format will take place as 2020 given that Government, Sport Ireland and CI may have to enforce the three-hour playing rule.”
This of course means that apart from senior international and interprovincial fixtures, the longest that both teams can spend on a ground is three hours which is ideal for T20 but not for 50 over cricket, which counts for 80% of games for the top level of club cricket.
More T20 cricket is a good thing for Cork cricketers however because they didn’t play enough of it and that was one of the big positives to come out of 2020.
“There will be a T20 league and T20 cup with a few regulation changes. Our immediate priority is to ensure that all clubs will be Covid compliant and that the Child Safety Assessments are to be returned by the end of February.
“No cricket will be played during the season which will damage the game, the clubs and participation in Munster. We’re really hoping that we can get off to a normal start in April but I think that everyone would prefer to start at a later date so as to try and get all players on the field and keep them on it, as opposed to a stop-start 2021.”