COVID 19 has severely affected cricket in the stadiums. Cricket, being a group game, was deeply disturbed by new normals post-COVID. Women cricket was one of the most vulnerable manifests of the game. However, the game seems to be reviving slowly. A recent report states that the domestic season of English cricket is scheduled to resume on 1st August.
According to ECB, extensive consultation with the 18 first-class counties and the Professional Cricketers’ Association was held before the decision of resumption was called. The Formats, nonetheless, and the detailed fixtures will be announced in early July. There are talks of a truncated season but there would be cricket with both white balls and red cherries.
Men were allowed to train from July after they followed the guidelines from the board. There has been, importantly, vital assurance from ECB as they have repeated their commitment to kick off the domestic season for women this year. It is highly probable that the newer season will differ from the original plans of the board. The original plan from England and Wales Cricket Board was sketched out as ‘new elite women’s domestic structure’.
Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of ECB says that “Our strong preference is that the women’s new elite domestic structure starts this summer and we will work hard to ensure that happens. For this to be achieved, brand new infrastructure still needs to be rolled out, alongside imperatives we need in place when playing competitive cricket during a pandemic”.
He further adds that “Our first choice remains to do everything we can to start this year and build on the fantastic momentum in the women’s game. In the event that proves impossible, we will explore other options for play to enable our women’s players to enjoy competitive domestic cricket in 2020. We will continue to work closely with both the men’s and women’s domestic game to ensure necessary safety measures are in place to protect the wellbeing of everyone involved”.
We have reported, earlier, that women cricketers have expressed concerns over equal focus in the resumption of women cricket. It is encouraging to see ECB not dropping the plans, of promoting women cricket to the roots, in the wake of the novel coronavirus. There have been talks of newer initiatives like ‘opt-in’ for players and officials. Boards in the recent future have to work hard on managing the game with the new normal or the health guidelines brought to us by the global pandemic.