BDPCL Bulletin 10th July

Written by: Nick Archer
Date: 10/07/2020

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By now, all member clubs should have received the following information, direct from ECB, via play-cricket.com: -   
  • ECB Return to Cricket Plan for Step 4 (5 pages) 
  • Plan for Socially Distanced Cricket Matches in England (1 page) .       
  • Covid-19 Plan for Junior and Open Age Cricket (1 page) .       
  • Guidance for Umpires and Scorers when officiating socially distanced cricket matches in England (5 pages)    
If your club has not received any of the documents detailed above, please contact me and I will email a copy to you.   

Having considered the above information, carefully, over the previous 24 hours, the BDPCL Management Board met, last night, to confirm plans for the rest of the 2020 season. It remains their intention to commence the season on Saturday 18th July with the Finals weekend taking place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September. Any club that has concerns about a return to cricket, having considered the guidelines from Government and ECB, should contact me as soon as possible, certainly no later than 5pm on Sunday 12th July. If necessary, a further meeting will be held with clubs on Monday evening 13th July but, at present, there are no plans to hold further meetings in the immediate future unless it is essential to discuss matters that have arisen over the weekend.    

The fixtures for the rest of the season, with clubs playing in regional groups of six, will be circulated to every club at 9.00 a.m. on Saturday 11th July. They will, also, be published on play-cricket.com at the same time. They will not be published on the BDPCL website because the changes required to the structure of the website to accommodate the temporary nature of the season are both costly and time-consuming when there is much else to complete! Work is, currently, being completed on the League website to enable a link straight through to the Fixtures and Competitions page of the League’s play-cricket.com site which will provide the match day information required for both players and spectators.   

The Management Board has confirmed that all matches will comprise of 40 overs per side and will be played under the rules and playing conditions of the Graham Williamson Trophy. Some changes to those playing conditions will be necessary and will be confirmed to all member clubs and umpires by 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 15th July. Despite approaches from two member clubs, expressing their disappointment at the decision to play with red balls in traditional white clothing, the Management Board has confirmed that decision that was relayed to all clubs on Tuesday evening. It is vital that all risks to the safety of players, officials, volunteers and spectators is minimised and the detailed information on the return to cricket contains a clause that states, “Where possible, players should limit the sharing of equipment. If they do, they must practice strict hygiene before and after use and the equipment must be cleaned before use by another person”. With clubs limited to five sets of batting clads, this will be impossible to achieve. The Management Board retains a desire to launch the introduction of white balls and coloured clothing in a positive manner at the start of the 2021 season when, hopefully, the game has moved on to Step 5 of ECB’s roadmap.   

During ECB’s weekly meeting with County Boards and the Premier League Chairs meeting, both held on Wednesday before the detailed information was circulated to clubs, the following was stated: - “ Cricket has only been brought back because the Government trusts the cricket network not to threaten public health. ECB has made a pact with government and a promise to society that it will observe all the guidelines that apply at the time. Public Health remains a priority and the concessions made (such as the decision not to play with white balls in coloured clothing) is a small price to pay for such a huge opportunity! Social distancing must be observed on the way to the ground, during the game and after the game to protect public safety and it is the ECB and Leagues responsibility to bring back the game as safely as possible. Therefore, it is required that all risks are reduced wherever possible.”   

Following discussions with the Scorers Officer of ECB ACO, who, also, scores for one of our member clubs, the Management Board has confirmed that only one scorer will be required at each match until further notice. This is only a temporary measure and, as soon as Government guidelines state that it is safe, each club will be expected to provide a scorer. The home side will be responsible for providing the scorer. If their regular scorer is unavailable, the home club should contact the visiting club, in the first instance, and offer their scorer the opportunity to fulfil the role. If the visiting scorer is unavailable or unwilling to fulfil the role, the responsibility for providing a scorer reverts to the home club.   

Further information regarding Captains’ Reports and Umpires’ Reports will be circulated by Wednesday 15th July.   

It was agreed at the clubs’ meeting on Tuesday evening that all payments to umpires would be made centrally by BDPCL and clubs would be invoiced £400.00 each for the costs at the end of the season. However, following advice from HMRC, the Management Board has reversed that decision because it has possible tax implications for the umpires and contractual implications for BDPCL because the Umpires Committee instruct the umpires where to go and the Finance Committee will be paying them accordingly. Unless any further information is forthcoming before next Saturday, Umpires should be paid in cash before the start of the game and the cash should be presented to them in an envelope or plastic cash bag available from banks. Clubs should, also, ensure that any fees due to scorers are paid safely.   

More information is expected from ECB in the next few days and it is essential that all your players are aware of the guidelines stated in the documents that are released. Please ensure that all your playing members have seen a copy of those documents before they play their first match!