Cricket is back but we need to stay safe

Posted by Alison Mable on 11 July 2020

A letter from the chairman about the return of cricket to the Anglo American Playing Fields, and what we all need to do to protect ourselves and each other

Dear Members, players young and old, parents and supporters,

The Crocus is beginning to blossom at the Anglo American Playing Fields as cricket comes home all across the country. At the beginning of the lockdown we issued a ‘cricket from home’ webpage which we called “Rain Stops Play”. It is still on our website and is full of ideas for reading, playing, coaching and generally enjoying cricket from home. Essex circulated it to all clubs in Essex. The weather at the time was warm and sunny. Needless to say, it is raining as I write! But please don’t stay at home (unless you have COVID19 symptoms or vulnerabilities!).
 
We have been working hard to make the club as bio-secure as we can. We have responded positively to government and ECB guidance and we are fortunate as a club to be able to do this. The generosity we have seen in terms of the donations you have made in recent months, both generally and in lieu of annual subscriptions, have made it possible for us to do many of the things we have done at the club to make it safe to play and watch cricket.  We are also grateful to our landlords, the Town Council, for the work they have done resurfacing the car park and approach road.

Our Risk Assessment will be available on our website but here we summarise the features of the new ‘normal’ for players young and old, parents and supporters. .

The headlines are:  

  • Please do not attend the ground in any capacity or for any activity if you have COVID19 symptoms or are living with someone who does.  Follow Government guidance on self-isolation.
  • The bar will be open as usual but the clubhouse is only available to players and other authorised people.
  • No-one is to sit within 3m of boundary, to allow players and spectators to circulate.
  • 2m social distancing to be respected at all times or 1m+ with precautions such as masks.
  • Remember “your mask protects others, their mask protects you” and follow all guidance about safe use of masks.
  • No physical greetings
  • Make a ‘C’ with thumb and forefinger of right hand by way of greeting and then point those fingers to the person being greeted! ‘C’ = Cricket and Crocus.
  • Use cubicles in toilets where possible (only one urinal will be available in the men’s toilets – men may have to queue!).
  • Do not turn up more than 30 minutes before or stay around for more than 30 minutes after an event such as training session or match.

Captains 
The cricket captain has always been a vital figure in the team, perhaps more so than in other sports.
They now have important additional responsibilities, supported by club officials and parents where appropriate:

  • Ensure all players, including opposition players, follow these guidelines.
  • Check that all players have their own food and sanitiser.
  • Ensure stumps and ball are sanitised.
  • Ensure players arrive changed.

Players (senior and junior) 

  • Bring own food and sanitiser.
  • Changing rooms closed.
  • Changing rooms can be used to store kit bags but only ONE player at a time in each changing room.
  • Do not touch or carry other people’s bags.
  • You may use changing rooms prior to batting but only one player at a time in changing room.
  • Toilets to be accessed via the clubhouse only.
  • Only one scorer in the score box – the away scorer, if any, should remain with his team or sit adjacent to the scorebox.
  • Home players located in front of the Pavilion.
  • Away players located near nets.
  • Regular hygiene breaks every 6 overs to clean ball and fielders sanitise hands.
  • Hands must be sanitised after moving sight screens or rain covers.
  • No sweat or saliva to be applied to ball.
  • Travelling in a car is possible with appropriate precautions taken (ventilation, masks, use of rear seats if possible), but avoid car travel if you can.
  • If it rains, players must shelter in cars, or in clubhouse if this is not possible with permission.
  • Keeper and slip cordon are exceptions in terms of social distancing but should always stay alert to virus transmission (as well as watching the ball!) and should always try to adhere to 1m+ distancing.
  • Do not share equipment.
  • Minimise passing of the ball around the field.
  • Ball to be placed at base of stumps when wicket falls.
  • Players to leave surplus equipment such as jumpers, glasses, etc., on the boundary.  Do not give them to the umpire.
  • Non-striking batsman to run on or outside the 2m running line.

 
Spectators

  • Sit in groups of no more than 6 or no more than two households.
  • Do not touch the ball.
  • Do not sit within 3m of boundary rope.
  • Access to the clubhouse is only for toilets.
  • Anyone entering he clubhouse must sign in.
  • During rain please shelter in cars or in the Memorial Apse.
  • Bring your own gazebo and chairs, if necessary.
  • Sit aside either sight screen or across top boundary. Do not sit anywhere in front of the clubhouse between the access steps and the net cages.
  • Drinks served from the window adjacent to the bar.
  • Plastic glasses cost £1 (you can keep them and bring them back for future use!). Feel free to bring your own glasses or containers.


Coaches
The coaching programme has grown apace recently which is great to see. Many thanks indeed to those coaches and others who have volunteered their time.

  • Net use protocol still applies - only one net in each cage in use at any one time with 2m social distancing applicable at all times.
  • Balls cleaned regularly.
  • Coaches and players to have their own hand sanitiser.
  • Latest guidance now allows groups of 30, with age related supervision ratios which can include parents or other adults.


We are confident that club members will respect this guidance, which is designed with everyone’s safety and well-being in mind. We will, of course, monitor the situation and adjust the guidance as appropriate. We have been given explicit instructions by the ECB that we should open the club only if it is safe to do so.  We believe it is but we will have no hesitation in closing the club down again if the above guidance is not followed. Indeed, there may yet be local or wider lockdowns in the future depending on how the virus develops.

I look forward to welcoming you all at the ground in the coming week – we will have the usual warm welcome, but no handshakes, hugs, huddles or kisses please!

Our starting point however, is that we are all in this together, both as a club and as a wider community, and that we need to support and look out for each other.  As a club, I know we can do this and I look forward to meeting you, at a distance(!), in what remains of our season.
 
David Barrs
(SWCC Chairman and Designated Safeguarding Lead)

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