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ECB Step 4 Return to Cricket Playing Guidance

9th July 2020 Posted in Board and Coronavirus and Latest and League by Michael Weeks

ECB has maintained a constant dialogue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) throughout this process and have prepared a plan to support clubs and individuals as they prepare for the return of recreational cricket, including details of adjustments which should be made to respect hygiene and social distancing requirements.

That plan covers a number of areas of the game, including:

Pre-match adaptations regarding transport and symptom checking.
In-game adaptations applying to social distancing measures, hygiene, match officials and the use of equipment.
Post-game adaptations, including the potential use of club facilities.
Advice for coaches specific to individual sessions and junior cricket.

The Bond Timber Cornwall Cricket League are currently conducting a second survey of all 70 member clubs to confirm their participation in Group Format adapted gameplay.

In the first survey 54% of clubs said they would compete and it it hoped for an increase in numbers following the announcement now to be allowed to play 11 a side cricket.

Clubs have been asked to respond by Monday 13 July.

Groups and fixtures will then be formatted with the aim for competitive fixtures to commence on Saturday 25 July.


Download the Full Step 4 Guidance

Download Guidance for Umpires & Scorers

Return to Step 4 FAQs

Best Practice for Travel to Games    Click

Getting your Clubhouse Ready for Step 4 & Facility Guidance  Click

Hospitality Guidelines  Click

Click on the following Infographics to download

In Summary

Understanding your club’s insurance position is essential and you should liaise directly with the club’s insurers and insurance advisers before the return to play or re-opening of the clubhouse process begins, to ensure that appropriate insurance is in place and to ascertain whether any additional steps are required.

ECB Step 4 is not ‘operation as usual’ (that’s ECB Step 5) but you will be opening up your facility to more people than you may have so far.


During all cricket activity

  • Cricket activity must take placeoutdoors only.
  • 11-a-side cricketcan return as long as groups are limited to a maximum of 30 participants, including coaches and officials.
  • Participants should enter the site and prepare their personal equipment whilst maintaining social distancing.
  • Where possible players shouldlimit sharing of equipment. If they do, they must practise strict hand hygiene before and after use and the equipment must be cleaned before use by another person.
  • No sweat or salivais to be applied to the ball at any time.
  • All participants shouldsanitise their handsprior to the start of the activity.
  • Hand sanitisershould be used at all breaks in activity and prior to consuming any food or drinks.
  • Players should refrain fromspitting or rinsing out their mouths.
  • In line with current UK Government guidance,clubs shouldnot prepare food for participants. Individuals should bring their own food and drink for ‘teas’ or practice. Water bottles or other refreshment containers should not be shared.

After all cricket activity

  • All participants shouldsanitise their hands after the completion of activity.
  • Participants should exit whilstmaintaining social distancing.
  • Social gathering after the activity will be allowedin line with current UK Government guidelineson hospitality and social distancing must be maintained.
  • One club representative/volunteer should be responsible forcollecting and disinfectingany shared equipment.
  • Regular cleaning of equipment and the facility should take place, particularly between one group finishing, and the next group starting.
  • Clubs should encourage all participants toreport any infection of their householdto the NHS Test and Trace system.

Clubs should support NHS Test and Trace efforts by keeping a temporary record of all participants in any cricket activity for 21 days and support NHS requests for data if needed.

Additional advice for socially distanced match-play

  • Players should adhere to UK Government social distancing guidance at all times (including throughout warm-ups) except in the following limited circumstances during competitive play in England only, where 1m+ is permitted: 1) wicket-keepers standing up to the stumps and 2) distance between slip fielders.
  • A ‘hygiene break’ should take place every six overs or every 20 minutes, whichever is sooner, in which the ball is cleaned with an antimicrobial wipe and all participants’ hands are cleaned using a suitable sanitiser. This routine should also be followed at the start of any drinks break or the close of an innings. The responsibility for sanitising the ball during the match will lie with the fielding captain, not the umpire.
  • Batters to sanitise their bat when leaving the field of play and Wicket Keepers should sanitise their gloves.
  • Bowlers should not hand any personal items to the umpire. Bowlers should place these items at the boundary themselves.
  • Batters are to run in distinct running linesto ensure they are not within 2m of the bowler or other batter. Lines to be marked on the square on either side of the wicket.
  • If two scorers are required, social distancing must be maintainedwith only one official inside the scorers’ box and no players to be allowed in the scorers’ box. The scorers’ box should be well ventilated.
  • Communal scorebookspassed from one player to another should be avoided.
  • Social distancingmust always be maintained including during post-wicket celebrations, drinks breaks and tactical discussions.
  • Minimise sharing of the ball in a matchby limiting contact as the ball makes its way back to the bowler e.g. ball goes straight from wicketkeeper to bowler instead of around surrounding fielders.
  • Spectators should remain socially distanced at all timesand refrain from all contact with the ball e.g. returning it to the field of play. Spectator groups must be restricted to discrete six-person gathering limits and spread out, in line with wider UK Government guidance.
  • Umpiresshould refrain from any contact with the ball, it can be returned to the base of the stumps at breaks and wickets.
  • Umpires should be responsible for the stumps closest to them and should be the only person replacing the bails if dislodged.
  • Use of the clubhouse, changing rooms and toilets should adhere to the latest Government adviceand be prepared in accordance with the ECB’s guidance on Getting your Clubhouse and Ground Ready for Step 4.
  • Detailed guidance relating to officials has been released by theAssociation of Cricket Officials (ACO), including appropriate sanctions for participants not adhering to COVID-19 guidance, including but not limited to, player ejection and match cancellation.

Additional Advice for Clubs & Club Representatives

Preparation of the cricket venue

  • Prior to reaching Step 4 of the ECB Roadmap and subsequently re-opening, club representatives should ensure that their facility is compliant with current UK Government legislation including legislation and guidance related to COVID-19, and in accordance to the ECB’s guidance on Getting your Clubhouse and Ground Ready for Step 4. A risk assessment should have been completed and risk mitigation measures put in place and monitored.
  • On any day of the activity, club representatives and volunteers should ensure that all COVID-19 measures are in place according to the club operating and safety plans, whilst maintaining social distancing – developing your own ‘opening up checklist’ is helpful for this. This should include:

o Set-up of public health operating procedures and access signage.

o Set-up of cricket facility including all ground safety requirements.

  • The duty of care which the club already owed remains and therefore other matters such as First Aid must continue to be provided. First Aid equipment (including AEDs where available) and suitable PPE for First Aid must be made available. Advice on First Aid during the COVID pandemic is available from St John Ambulance.
  • Clubs should make hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitiser available for all site users.
  • Clubs must have entry and exit, and parking arrangements to venues that ensures social distancing can be maintained and implement traffic flow systems where possible and appropriate.
  • Clubs must outline socially distanced areas for teams, officials, and spectators.
  • Clubs must ensure that all accessible provision within the site and the facility are available.
  • Clubs and groundskeepers should mark running lines on the square in line with the popping crease at 2m intervals on either side of the wicket.

Advice for Special Occurrences e.g. rain

  • In the event of rain,participants should return to their own vehicleto maintain social distancing if there is insufficient outdoor cover from the rain to maintain social distancing.
  • Application of covers in the event of wet weather should be done whilst maintaining social distancing.