Haverhill Cricket Club players step up preparations for return to action
Haverhill Cricket Club’s senior and junior players have this week been able to step up their preparations for a return to competitive action.
Club officials have put updated guidance from the ECB into place at their Manor Road ground, allowing groups of up to five people to work with a coach. Groups of six can also now alternate in a single extended session on two of three outdoor nets, as long as they maintain social distancing measures.
Previous to Friday’s national announcement from the sport’s governing body, coaches and outdoor netting was only able to take place on a one-on-one basis.
Haverhill chairman Rob Dovaston said: “When the initial guidance came out three or four weeks ago we worked tirelessly to make the ground safe and put up the relevant signage.
“The players have actually got to benefit from a caged net on the square as well as one on the Astro Turf, thanks to the work of our groundsman Micky Harding.
“We have a good online booking system as per the guidelines and got all the sanitisation in place, as well as having committee members there to oversee things.”
Since early this week, the club have extended the booking slots for using the nets from 50 to 90 minutes.
But the clubhouse has had to remain closed and there is still no word on when or if their 2020 season will get under way.
“Things are moving in the right direction,” said Dovaston. “The ECB are taking their time over it and there is a hope recreational cricket does not need quite as long as county cricket (not before August 1).”
He said the club was talking about the possibility of small-sided friendlies if the league was not able to return this year and the possibility of extending the playing season by a month into October.
If pubs are given the green light by the government to reopen by serving in their outdoor spaces, the club would be keen on opening their clubhouse bar in the same way.
“It would be nice to open the clubhouse and have Haverhill’s biggest beer garden,” said Dovaston.
More by this authorRussell Claydon
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