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Men’s cricket – plans to get going after Easter

Since last week’s announcements about the planned easing of lockdown, it has at long last been possible to start making some provisional plans to get going with cricket as soon as possible after Easter. We are keen to do as much as we can to make up for the absence of winter nets, whilst keeping to the rules about social distancing and exercise in force at any given time.

Nets at the club and organised pre-season training

We provisionally plan that nets will be available to all members from 5 April onwards, although times may be restricted and it may be necessary to operate a booking system as we did last year, to ensure social distancing.

Regular group training sessions for the men’s squad will as usual be on Wednesday evenings from 6.30-8pm this year. We plan to start these on Wednesday 7 April. We expect that, at least in the early part of the season, everyone will have to sign up for group training sessions in advance via Teamtamer, as they did last summer, rather than just showing up. The relevant rules in force at the time may also mean there is numbers limit and will affect how the sessions are run. Generally, this year we also plan that the bar will be open on Wednesday evenings.

Pre-season friendlies and intra-club match

We are planning to have an intra-club warm-up match on Saturday 17 April, followed by a pre-season friendly against South Nutfield CC on Saturday 24 April. These fixtures will shortly be posted on Teamtamer and players invited to give their availability.

Start of the league season

The I’Anson League season is scheduled to start on Saturday 1 May for all league teams, and at this stage we have every expectation that that will happen, though social distancing and sanitising protocols similar to last season may well be in place. The league fixtures are all now on the men's cricket page of the website.

We do not yet know if it will be possible to provide match teas for matches at the start of the season, but we plan to do so just as soon as we can under the relevant rules and ECB guidelines.

Start of Sunday cricket

The first scheduled Sunday match is a home fixture against Wonersh on 25 April, and there are games scheduled every Sunday thereafter. There will also be VKO matches on alternate Sundays for as long as we remain in the competition – we’re hoping to repeat the good run we have had for the past couple of years. The draw is later this week and our first fixture will be on either 25 April or 9 May.

Social activities

If the easing of lockdown restrictions enables us to have any kind of pre-season social event at the club, we would like to do this, but at the moment it looks unlikely that it will be possible. However, we certainly plan to open the bar at weekends, both at Blackheath and Grafham, just as soon as we are able to do so, and an outside bar should be possible from the outset (including on the day of the intra-club match on 17 April). We also hope that Saturday suppers at the club will also be possible again at some point this season, although this is unlikely until some point in June at the earliest.

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