COVID-19 15th May announcement


Following the formation of the Southern League (SL) in 1969, a general inquiry in 1970 initiated by Noel Fisher showed a widespread interest among clubs tired of the surfeit of draws in ‘friendly’ cricket and looking for a competitive edge with rewards, in the form of promotion, for success.


Following this week’s government announcements, below is the most up to date guidance regarding the recreational game, in particular the use of outdoor facilities.

We ask that you continue to Stay Alert and abide by the social distancing recommendations that are still in place.

Recreational Game Update

The below provides an Executive Summary of our latest guidance on the use of outdoor facilities. The full guidance can be found here.

Executive Summary

The purpose of these guidelines is to offer practical guidance to players and clubs on the steps they should take to remain safe whilst undertaking exercise in an outdoor cricket club environment.

These guidelines currently apply to England only. Lockdown restrictions remain in place in Wales with a review due to take place on 28 May 2020.

These guidelines have been produced in line with the UK Government guidance on public spaces, outdoor activity and exercise published on 11 May 2020, which can be read here. Supporting guidance published on 13 May 2020 can be found here.

All activity should be consistent with the Government guidance regarding health, social distancing and hygiene.

In ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’, the UK Government stated that team sports should not be played outside of a household.

ECB maintains the position that all recreational cricket remains suspended until further notice, with the sole exception of the use of outdoor cricket facilities (nets and pitches) for the purpose of undertaking exercise as set out in our detailed guidance document.

Our primary and ongoing goal is to protect the health of everyone in and around the game.

The adjusted lockdown restrictions provide an opportunity for the use of outdoor cricket facilities (nets and pitches) for the purpose of undertaking exercise.

In summary:

  • You can exercise outdoors on your own, with members of your household or with one other person from outside your household while keeping two metres apart at all times. You must only exercise in groups of no more than two people, unless you are exercising exclusively with members of your household.
  • Social distancing of at least two metres must be maintained at all times (unless all participants are members of the same household).
  • Only one-to-one coaching is permitted per session.
  • Nets should be used on an ‘every other’ basis, leaving one net free between nets.
  • Clubhouses can be reopened in a limited way for operational reasons (e.g. for access to first aid equipment) or for toilet access (see full guidance) but all communal areas including bar, changing rooms etc are to remain closed for general use.
  • Toilet facilities can be opened if the venue wishes, but particular care should be taken by those using them and those cleaning them. Where they are open, venues must ensure soap and water is provided.
  • No indoor activity at all.
  • We recommend using your own equipment if possible. If equipment is being shared, please follow UK Government’s guidance on the sharing of equipment.
  • No saliva or sweat should come into contact with the ball at any time.
  • Wash hands at home before and after using the outdoor facilities. Bring your own hand sanitiser where possible.

ECB is clear that outdoor facilities should only reopen if those responsible for them are ready to do so and they can do so safely, following public health guidance: no club should reopen their outdoor facilities if they feel unable to meet the requirements.

For clubs, you will need to have the following in place:

  • Properly maintained facilities.
  • A booking system for outdoor space or other means to manage access and demand.
  • The capability to advise individuals when booking to check for symptoms of COVID-19 and in turn to advise individuals when booking that – in line with current Government guidance – if they are symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if they are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, they should remain at home and follow Government guidance.
  • A sanitation procedure between use/booking.
  • A representative of the club on site during the hours that the outdoor facilities are open for use.
  • Closed signs should be displayed when facilities are not open (including where a club does not wish to or is not ready to reopen) to deter use by general public particularly where there is open access.
  • Updated signage and access points.

For individuals, you will need to:

  • Seek confirmation from the club that it has reopened and make a booking.
  • Check for symptoms of COVID-19. In line with current Government guidance, if you are symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, you should remain at home and follow Government guidance.
  • Avoid public transport if at all possible.

ECB has provided detailed guidance on the preparation and administration of outdoor facilities for clubs, and guidelines for participation for individuals. The situation is evolving constantly, and we will continue to update our guidance as more information becomes available.

Further advice is available at the GOV.UK and Sport England websites. Please regularly check these sites and the updated ECB guidance as this policy position is likely to change over time and could also become more regionalised and localised as time progresses.

The full guidance document can be found here.

Nominate your Cricket heroes

There are some great ideas coming in from across the network, we’ve seen one from Worcestershire and Warwickshire on nominating their Cricket Heroes, and we’d like to scale this to a national campaign celebrating the games key workers.

We want to thank all those key workers across the country who are working so hard to protect us all, and keep the country running during this time. In particular, we want to thank individuals from the recreational game who have laid down their bats and balls for the summer in order to support us all.

If you know of any key workers, (e.g. NHS, Teachers, Care Home Workers) within your county who you wish to nominate as a Cricket Hero please share your nominations with us by emailing us here  before 12pm on Monday. Please note the only way to nominate is via email. We’ll collate these and will be in touch with both you and your nominations if your submission is selected as one of our profile nominations.

Please include

  • Full name of your nomination
  • Email of the person you are nominating*
  • The reason for nominating them
  • The club they play at

*This email address will only be used for correspondence relating to this initiative and not any other marketing purposes.

[email protected]

NatWest MoneySense

We know that whilst some of us are staying home with our young cricket fans, it can be difficult to keep home schooling engaging. We take our hats off to all those who are currently doing this!

NatWest MoneySense is a free, online fun programme for children aged between 5 and 18.

Each week, NatWest MoneySense Monday’s will focus on a different topic to help introduce finance topics at home. On Monday 18th May at 10.30 – 11.00am NatWest ambassador and England Cricket legend, Michael Vaughan and his daughter, Jemima, will be joining the MoneySense Monday’s session for 8-12 year olds. The interactive lesson will focus on fundraising for charities, including what charity to choose, running fundraising events and how to communicate your fundraising.

For more inspiration and support on home schooling your young cricket fans and future players, join in on NatWest Facebook and YouTube channels this Monday.

Staying Connected

Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be sharing our latest videos, content and updates with the recreational cricket family over email and across our social media channels.

We recognise that there is a nervousness from clubs that they may lose contact with their club members during this time and we want to do everything we can to help keep cricket at the forefront of their minds.

We’d encourage you and your networks to follow our social media channels below, and to remind your cricketers that whilst they may normally receive their weekly stats via player-comms, if they haven’t opted in to marketing communications we sadly won’t be able to continue to communicate with them whilst there is no cricket. For those who are opted-in, an example of the types of communications we are sharing can be found here. This will be sent on Saturday morning.