Covid-19 Information Centre
This page will be used to keep clubs up to date with the rapidly changing situation on Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the impact it may have on ESCA and clubs and necessary guidance.
For those of you who have been following ESCA’s website or social media, you may have spotted an update from 1st June, after the latest call with Cricket Scotland. It can be seen here: http://www.eastleague.org.uk/news/covid-19-information-centre/
The main messages were:
- Reiteration of no cricketing activities of any sort prior to 1st July, with any activity on or after that only allowed once approval to do so has been granted.
- Reiteration of no cricket matches of any sort prior to 1st August, with any activity on or after that only allowed once approval to do so has been granted
- CS have been in discussion with sportscotland and Scottish Government with respect to cricket and lockdown easing and will continue to do so. It is their intention to build on the sportscotland template policy for restarting cricket (https://sportscotland.org.uk/covid-19/ and https://sportscotland.org.uk/media/5723/getting-your-facilites-fit-for-sport.pdf)
- CS are also going to look at the implications around insurance (ESCA are also awaiting a response from the broker we take out insurance with).
ESCA subsequently had a committee meeting on 2nd June to discuss the above, the survey outcomes and possible next steps. We find ourselves in a little bit of a holding period, with no significant change from the last CS meeting and waiting for the next Scottish Government announcement and subsequent CS announcement. We are trying to push what we can forward, but not understanding ground availability from the likes of Edinburgh Leisure and schools is hamstringing us and we are reluctant to push ahead with anything at this point.
We have, however, agreed to start to implement a regionalised framework of groups of 5, (ideally) 6 or 7 clubs to build friendlies around. There is a natural split for most areas (Fife, West Lothian, East Lothian, Borders and City of Edinburgh). ESCA have some work to do around this, including to continue to discuss with SPCU and the West around nearby teams (e.g. Dunfermline, Glenrothes and Freuchie). Edinburgh teams will not be formally split at this point until ground availability has been established to help us ensure as many players can play, but we have some ideas how it could be split and it will likely focus on comparable standards of team too. Clubs would arrange fixtures within the framework to aim to have sides play each other once. The big question will be format, as whether it is 40 over or a pair of T20s on a single ground will be part dictated by ground availability (feedback from the survey showed that clubs were happy to play either format to ensure playing some cricket, but a small preference for 40 overs).
We have also taken the decision to cancel the Masterton and Braw Skelp trophies this year and simply encourage clubs to investigate social T20 cricket. The EPL clubs will have a more structured format, but will not be run as an ESCA competition.
By way of timeline for the next decision points, the next Scottish Government announcement is 18th June and we’d expect a CS call very shortly after. The next ESCA meeting is planned for 23rd June and we will feedback after this.
Please can I ask that clubs hold off organising anything formally until we have more of an understanding on grounds, which we are hoping to see shortly after the various announcements and once schools and EL know better what is happening and have something to target. Please can clubs contact us if they receive any updated information around ground availability.
What we would also ask is that clubs start to look at planning for implementation of all ‘restarting cricket’ measures, including all necessary health and safety documentation. We would suggest hanging fire on producing any formal documentation until we receive further CS guidance, but the sportscotland guidance is a good starting point for being prepared and we’d suggest getting a task force from within your club to take responsibility for this. Note that clubs must have the relevant procedures in place before any cricket activities can take place and be forewarned that we will expect clubs to be able to provide the necessary paperwork if asked to do so. Clubs must make sure that captains and players are aware of the restrictions and measures put in place and abide by them.
We would also ask clubs to engage with ESCA around any plans they may have started to implement.
I’m afraid we cannot be more definitive at this point, but will continue to update once we hear more. Please keep eyes on our website and social media.
Update @ 1st June 2020, 7.00pm
ESCA had a productive call with Cricket Scotland, other regional associations and representatives from the umpiring community this morning. The main headlines out of the call are:
- Reiteration of no cricketing activities of any sort prior to 1st July and only once approval to do so has been granted.
- Reiteration of no cricket matches of any sort prior to 1st August and only once approval to do so has been granted.
CS noted that they have been in discussion with Sport Scotland and Scottish Government with respect to cricket and lockdown easing and will continue to do so. It is their intention to build on the Sports Scotland template policy for restarting cricket (https://sportscotland.org.uk/covid-19/ and https://sportscotland.org.uk/media/5723/getting-your-facilites-fit-for-sport.pdf); this is something ESCA will be looking for clubs to review and amend to suit their circumstances. CS are also going to look at the implications around insurance (ESCA are also awaiting a response from the broker we take out insurance with). It is clear there are a lot of hurdles still to be overcome before formal restart can happen, including Government sign off.
In terms of next steps in relation to CS, it is very much ‘watch this space’ for updates on the above.
In terms of ESCA’s next steps, we have a committee meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the above and strategy for what cricket may look like come 1st July and 1st August. We will also be discussing the feedback from the ESCA club/members’ survey that 32 of the clubs responded to on behalf of their members. This has reiterated a lot of what we suspected, but has also prompted some discussion around other aspects that clubs raised. It is positive to see that there is still appetite for cricket, in whatever form it takes, but not to the detriment of player health and safety.
We will be looking at the best ways to get as many people who want to play, playing safely. We have already started to look at regionalising teams to reduce travel and we will likely look to team ‘clusters’ to help provide a framework for any fixtures. If we do go down this route, ESCA will determine the best clusters based on location, strength of team (where known) and ground availability. We have already reached out to others (such as SPCU) to discuss how we might best help clubs and whether collaboration may be possible/better. We will also be having discussions with the Masterton committee around wether it is practical to run any Masterton competition this year and what it may look like if so.
Please can clubs contact us if they receive any updated information around ground availability. We would also ask clubs to engage with ESCA around any plans they may have started to implement.
There is a lot for ESCA to be doing and we would ask for a little time to assess the best course of action and we will provide further updates in due course.
Update @ 28th May 2020, 9.20pm
Update from CS based on the Scottish Government update earlier today.
Ultimately no change to dates previously noted.
Update @ 15th May 2020, 8.15pm
The ECB have shared some guidance on the use of outdoor cricket facilities in lockdown, aimed at offering practical support to players and clubs “on the steps they should take to remain safe while undertaking exercise in an outdoor cricket club environment”. The link is below.
Note that these only apply in England just now, but give an indication of what might be in place when Scotland follows suit.
Update @ 13th May 2020, 5.15pm
A further updated from Cricket Scotland has been issued today, after consultation with the Regional Associations yesterday. The CS recommendations can be summarised as follows:
- All cricketing activities suspended until 1st July
- On the basis of above, given that we need a run into the season, all regional associations have broadly agreed to cancel all competitive league cricket across Scotland and national competitions.
- Regional Associations allowed to make their own call on cup competitions and what cricket can be made available. Likely that this is August, with some making mention of potentially September for some clubs where facilities may allow it.
The full CS statement can be read here: http://www.cricketscotland.com/advice-on-covid-19/
We know clubs and members will be disappointed, but we discussed this at length at last night’s committee meeting and believe this is the right call.
So to the what next. We want to look at facilitating something if it is safe to do so, but need to understand restrictions and challenges that might be in place and/or whether there is any appetite. Therefore we have today reached out to clubs to start discussions with their members around safety, the want to play and logistics. We are asking clubs to provide responses to 10 questions relating to what the 2020 season might look like if cricketing activity is possible. Responses are to be returned by 20th May, to allow us some time to collate and start preparing as necessary, prior to the next CS call.
Note that all cricket would need to be local/regionalised and therefore opinion on this is intentionally not being requested, though clubs can add anything on this if they feel they want to.
My own view is that we need clubs to be realistic about what is possible and safety must be a priority. If there is to be any cricket I’d suggest the focus is on participation and keeping people engaged. We also know some players may not want to play at all and it may mean clubs coming together to help get teams out or be flexible on format.
As always, please give me a call or drop me a message of you want to discuss anything.
Remember to review the ESCA Covid-19 Information centre (http://www.eastleague.org.uk/
Update @ 24th April 2020, 12.15pm
An update from Cricket Scotland within the last 24 hours on the time line for cricket in the current lockdown. CS have recommended, in conjunction and agreement with all Scottish associations, that it will wait until the 7th May (when further UK Government advice on lockdown and possible exit strategy is expected) before making any further decision on the future of the domestic cricket season in Scotland.
The ECB have also put out a statement on professional cricket in England which can be read here: ECB Link Here
ESCA’s next committee meeting will be 12th May and we will be discussing what cricket may look like once the season opens back up, in whatever form. We will continue to keep people up to date as things progress.
A reminder also about completing the CS Equality Survey. It doesn’t take long and we’d encourage all those involved in cricket in Scotland to complete it.
Update @ 11th April 2020, 8.45am
Confirmed that sadly the Public Parks Association has taken the decision to cancel the Parks and Terry Newcombe Trophies for 2020. This is the first time it’s not been played since during and shortly after the Second World War. Back in 2021. #publicparks
Update @ 23rd March 2020, 6.00pm :
CS have recommended, in conjunction and agreement with all Scottish associations, that all cricket activity in Scotland is further suspended until the 1st June 2020.
This recommendation for suspension applies to all cricket activity including pre-season training, friendlies and any cricket programmes from recreational through to professional teams across Scotland.
There are a number of other things happening in the background which will be shared in due course to make sure all are as prepared as possible for a restart to the season when it comes. This will include implications on fixture list.
If clubs have any concerns, want to chat through the implications or have any ideas, please contact us.
We will keep all updated as and when things develop.
CS statement here: http://www.cricketscotland.com/cricket-scotland-statement-covid-19-2/
Update @ 18th March 2020, 11:30pm :
ECB have today put out a statement indefinitely suspending all cricketing activities. It is expected that CS and ESCA will follow suit, but we will be looking to provide some guidance on the planning that is taking place to allow the quick restart of activities once it is safe to do so.
Update @ 16th March 2020, 11:30pm :
Due to the Covid-19 situation, we have postponed the Introduction to Umpiring Course due to take place on 23rd March to a later date.
Cricket ball pick up tomorrow night (17th March) will still take place.
Update @ 16th March 2020, 8:00pm :
CS Statement & ESCA Advice
CS have made an announcement on their guidance to Covid-19, aligning with the UK Government’s guidance to avoid all non-essential social contact.
The full statement can be read here: http://www.cricketscotland.com/cricket-scotland-statement-covid-19/
The implications of the guidance is that, with immediate effect, we recommend that clubs cancel all training, events (e.g. social gatherings) and limit pre-season activities where groups of people would congregate.
ESCA will work with CS over the next couple of days to review implications on the planned 2nd May season start, with a delayed start or rescheduling a possibility.
Keep reviewing this page and our social media for updates.
Update @ 14th March 2020, 11:00am :
ESCA SGM & Pre-season Meeting Postponement
In light of the moving Covid-19 situation, we have taken the decision to postpone the ESCA pre-season meeting and SGM from 17th March, to another date TBC.
We will still be taking delivery of the cricket balls for the season from Readers and we will still be looking for clubs to pick these up on the night as we cannot store them all. We would ask that ONE person from each club come to Stewart’s Melville Pavilion at Inverleith on Tuesday 17th March from 7pm onwards to pick up balls only. We will also pass the player awards from 2019 to relevant clubs at this point. If clubs cannot attend, please let us know.
We will review the way in which rule changes are voted on in the coming week, but this will be largely dependent on the advice we get. We will be looking at conference call facilities, Google docs voting or equivalent.
At this point, ESCA are NOT advising clubs to cancel senior player training, unless we are told otherwise. Clubs should review their own circumstances and make an assessment, following all appropriate NHS and Government advice. We note that Sport England (and the ECB) have issued guidance noting to continue at this point in time, but will continue to review the ongoing situation. We are aware that there has been guidance on international, regional and junior cricket sessions from CS and this should be followed.
We continuing to plan for a season start on 2nd May, but will continue to review this as more information becomes available.
Any questions, please contact us.
Update @ 13th March 2020, 8:45pm :
An update from the MCC on Covid-19 is attached for information. There is no significant change in message in this, or from ESCA at this point.
Update @ 12th March 2020, 12 noon :
Cricket Scotland is monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation and the uncertainties around how it will develop over the next weeks and months.
Advice from Scottish Government in regards to COVID-19 continues to focus on infection control and the attached Joint COVID-19 fact sheet which provides additional information in regards to sports teams.
During cricket activities please take these guidelines into consideration, for example, handshakes before, during or after games and the sharing of equipment and balls. Please also check the latest government advice when considering multi team events or activities.
For more information and advice on COVID-19, please read the following webpages:
Cricket Scotland will update clubs on further advice prior to the start of the domestic season