Update on COVID-19 and the Irish cricket season
The Irish and UK Governments have made a series of announcements around their plans for resumption of economic and social activity in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
While sport and recreation plays an important part in all of our lives, it is clear that significant work will be required by Cricket Ireland, Provincial Unions, and cricket clubs across Ireland before we can see a return-to-train and return-to-play.
We met last week with the Provincial Union General Managers and will be briefing our Board on Wednesday this week regarding our proposed plans and protocols.
The Safe Return to Play protocols being developed by Cricket Ireland - in consultation with health experts, sports authorities, players/officials and Provincial Unions - responds to the public health requirements that must be met to allow for the protection of players, coaches, match officials, administrators, volunteers and the wider community.
We hope to see a gradual resumption of cricket activity during the summer – with a phased re-introduction of training, and then hopefully competitive matches in line with government guidelines.
While we are committed to seeing cricket resume as soon as possible, it is clear from the respective Government stipulations that our existing position remains in place – that no cricket activity can resume before June 2020 at the earliest (including training).
Significant changes to the club environment – particularly with regard to safe hygiene protocols and social distancing – will be required and we will need to work with Provincial Unions on better understanding and complying with the protocol so that we can put proposals before the Government as quickly as possible without sacrificing rigour.
The NI Executive is set to release further detail tomorrow regarding a roadmap for Northern Ireland, and we shall provide updated advice on this matter and other Board deliberations later this week.
We look forward to sharing our plans in coming weeks, and hope we can see a return to cricket activity soon.