The Greater Manchester Cricket League season could get underway as soon as July 25th.
A statement on the GMCL website read:
Following the ECB announcement on Friday we can now begin preparations for some form of cricket, with some confidence of starting a short season.
The Board took decisions in March that the 2020 season would not commence and at that time we were hoping for an early June start. Much has happened since then and throughout this unprecedented period we have tried to ensure our clubs are kept informed of all information in a timely manner.
The League and our Governing Bodies will continue to offer advice with the safety of all involved as the priority.
We have strong indications that certain restrictions are going to be lifted and therefore as a league we feel it is the right time to prepare and to seek information from our Clubs on their intentions if cricket is allowed to start in some format or other.
If cricket is allowed to restart,
- We expect that the game will be adapted to meet government health restrictions
- We will look at extending the normal season dates, if all agree but we understand that some grounds may not be available for the later dates in the competition; we will do our best to accommodate this or create normal fewer week competitions for those who want to end in the 2nd week of September.
- We will create locally based groups of an appropriate number of teams to fill the weeks available with relatively comparable abilities. This would include Saturday and Sunday Senior fixtures and Junior cricket. No club will be penalised should they not wish to play
- The playing conditions will be determined by the start of cricket date and the number of clubs electing to take part.
- The Board has agreed that the new cricHQ registration process will continue without any fee for this season
The Board have developed a number of competition structures, which vary dependant on the start date but for the purposes of planning we are hoping for a recommencement of cricket on Saturday the 25th July 2020, which would provide for a 10 week season playing up to and including the 26th September.
Once we receive information from the ECB on the date for re-start, we will come back to you with detailed competition plans, for your full response on what your club wishes to do and we will need that quickly in order to set up fixtures ready for us to hit the earliest possible start date.
The GMCL Umpires Association supports the above principles and have contacted all Umpires to understand who and how many are prepared to umpire matches and thus will do their best to provide as many umpires as possible.
It is accepted that clubs may wish to know the proposed ECB adaptions and conditions for playing the game including clubhouse and ground arrangements etc. before committing to take part in any competition but to help us plan for what may happen we need to know your Clubs intentions at this time.
At this point we need you to engage with your committee and all players to determine their wish to play some form of the game which is still to be determined and we need you to think about how the game would work at your club and we have asked some questions in that regard.