Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Scotland has today (13 May 2020) announced that the start of domestic cricket activity in Scotland is being put back to 1 July 2020, from the current date of 1 June 2020.
This means it is anticipated that no domestic matches, either friendly or competitive, will take place before 1 August 2020.
The announcement comes following a virtual meeting between Cricket Scotland, the Officials Associations and the Regional Associations which run local and league cricket competitions in Scotland. It is also mindful of the recent Scottish Government announcement on the extension of lockdown until at least 28 May 2020 and current guidance on a likely exit route.
The health and welfare of all those involved with cricket, as well as the protection of essential services, remain, as always, the prime considerations in any decisions. The gap between 1 July and 1 August gives time for players to prepare for cricket, for grounds to be made ready and for any necessary protocols to be put in place.
The announced dates are dependent on the evolution of the virus and future Scottish Government announcements and guidance and will be reviewed regularly.
As a consequence of the further delay to the start of the season, Cricket Scotland also announces, with the agreement of the Regional Associations, that no league cricket or national cup competitions in Scotland will take place this season.
The Regional Associations will announce separately their intentions regarding regional cup competitions. In the hope that additional cricket matches can take place in August, Cricket Scotland and the Regional Associations in consultation with the clubs, will aim to create other friendly and, potentially, competitive fixture structures (most likely concentrating on the T20 format) in August and possibly September, depending on player, official and ground availability.
The Associations and Cricket Scotland have agreed that the aim should be to offer clubs and participants the opportunity to play cricket in 2020 if at all possible.
Cricket Scotland will also work to support clubs, schools and organisation in initiating development activity for juniors and others as soon as practicable and in line with Scottish Government guidance on social distancing.
Gus Mackay, Chief Executive of Cricket Scotland, said: “We very much understand that those involved in the game will be disappointed that there will be no league cricket this year and the decision has been made with a heavy heart.
“However, in all the circumstances, we believe this decision brings the necessary clarity for the game in Scotland while seeking to provide, when we can, some form of cricket in 2020, working within the Scottish Government’s guidelines.
“These plans are subject to review as further information and guidance becomes available. Further announcements will be made as appropriate.”
Cricket Scotland expects to make announcements in the next two weeks about the international matches currently scheduled in June and July 2020 against New Zealand, Australia, Nepal and Namibia.