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Following the Government broadcast on the evening of Monday 16th March, the Gloucestershire Cricket Board have received enquiries from the cricket community regarding the latest ECB position on Coronavirus, particularly in relation to the upcoming playing season.  This page will be used to communicate this information…

 

The ECB unveils £61 million interim support package for professional and recreational cricket (31/03/2020 – 19:00)

  • Financial assistance made available at every level of the game; across counties, boards and clubs
  • Package includes early release of £40m to support immediate cash flow challenges
  • More than £20m available in interest-free loans and grants to recreational clubs

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced a £61million package to help cricket withstand the financial impact of COVID-19.

The plans detail a number of measures for the whole sport from elite to grassroots, including the MCC, the First-Class Counties (FCCs) and their County Cricket Boards (CCBs). Local cricket clubs will also be offered support to see them through the coming months.

In accordance with Government advice the start of the cricket season has been delayed until at least May 28th. A range of options for cricket to begin in June, July or August are currently being modelled.

With revenues impacted across the game – from both cricket and non-cricket activities, the ECB Board today approved plans to expedite payments from a number of areas within its 2020-2021 planned distribution budgets.

Around £40m will be made immediately available through:

  • Early release of three months’ (May-July) county partnership distributions to FCCs and CCBs
  • The immediate availability of two years’ facilities maintenance distribution*
    • Funds available unfettered and not restricted to facilities maintenance expenditure
    • A further £5.5million to be made available for counties who are not eligible for 2020-2021 ordinary facilities maintenance distributions
  • Suspension of international staging fees for four months and waiving of international staging fees payable in 2020 if the match is not played as scheduled due to COVID-19

An extra budget of just over £20m will become available to the recreational game through a cricket club support loan scheme, grants through the “Return to Cricket” scheme and a 12-month holiday on loan repayments for recreational clubs.

Tom Harrison, chief executive officer of the ECB, said: ‘’ We would like to thank everyone within the cricket network who is working tirelessly to protect the game during this period of uncertainty.’’

“We understand these are challenging times and it has been our priority to provide swift and immediate support to all members of the cricket family at every level in England and Wales.

‘’We are fully aware that the situation with COVID-19 will continue to develop, and it will be months before the full financial fallout is made clear. We will continue work with all of our partners to protect the ongoing health of the entire game in the short term and beyond. ‘’

 

ECB Statement (27/03/2020 – 14:52)

The ECB have issued the following statement for National Programmes, Interest Free Loan Scheme and Competitions.

ECB Update - Covid-19
Dear all,

We hope that you, your family and friends are keeping well during this uncertain time. The response from the cricket community has been overwhelming as people are thinking of new ideas to stay active and keep cricket in their lives.

With the changing situation surrounding Covid-19, we are continuing to work with the Government and Sport England to provide the answers that we know you are looking for during this uncertain time.

It remains critical that our decision making is medically led and informed by science and as a result, we are not able to provide all the answers at the minute. Please be assured that we are continuing to work through the questions we receive and will update you as frequently as possible.

National Programmes:

The safety and wellbeing of all people involved in cricket is our absolute priority and so whilst we continue to work through solutions, All Stars and Dynamos Cricket remain suspended. We are currently working through what this means for those who have registered for both national participation programmes and will be in touch within three weeks to update you.

We know that cricket can have a huge part to play in supporting physical and mental wellbeing of children around the country and we are working hard to find a solution which involves running courses later in the summer.

We are fully committed to doing the best for cricket and its communities throughout this unusual period. In the meantime, we are also exploring ways that we can bring cricket to homes across the country through indoor games, challenges and digital content and we look forward to sharing details with you soon.

We will be communicating a similar update with parents of participants in the next 48 hours.

EWCT Interest Free Loan Scheme:

The Trustees of the England and Wales Cricket Trust (ECB’s subsidiary charity) have agreed that loan repayments will be suspended until May 2021. All other terms and conditions remain in place. If you have any questions, please contact loans@ecb.co.uk.

Safeguarding:

The safety of our clubs and centres remains a priority. Whilst we have suspended all Safe Hands courses, we will be introducing an interim training package to everyone that needs it. Full details will be shared through County Welfare Officers.

We have had to make changes to the standard practice of Disclosure and Barring Service Checks but will be following the Government guidance on temporary changes which include:

  • DBS Certificates will now be able to be emailed to safe.guarding@ecb.co.uk instead of posting.
  • Overseas Certificate of Good Conduct will now be able to be emailed to dbs@ecb.co.uk instead of posting.
  • Access has been temporarily changed for ID verification to the top levels of access: ECB Staff / Regional Users / Primary County-Wide Users / Secondary County-Wide Users (which would include all County Welfare Officers & their deputies / Regional Programme Execs / City Programme Execs
  • ID Verifications will now be supported via video conferencing instead of Face to Face meetings

Competitions:

Following the announcement last week relating to the suspension of recreational cricket, cricket competitions will be suspended until further notice. Please be assured that we are continuing to work through the questions and what options there will be for running competitions at a later date. We will update you as frequently as possible.

Staying connected:

It is important to keep in touch and look after your cricket community, be they players, volunteers, parents, or members so that they are with you for many years to come. You will still have important decisions to make, and we face an extended period where there is extremely limited or no face to face contact with others.

In the short term, please check-in and look after your community (especially the vulnerable) using phone, WhatsApp, Facebook or other tools and try out a conference call facility for formal meetings – Best Conferencing Apps. As we move through this period, look at setting up virtual social sessions, such as quizzes or dinner parties, via conference call facilities. Whilst adhering to Government guidance please stay physically and mentally fit – there are lots of great online resources to help you. Please look after your cricket community.

This is new territory for all of us, and we’d like to thank you personally for your support and patience as we work through solutions. We will be in touch soon with answers to as many questions as possible.

 

Coronavirus and Grounds Maintenance in the Recreational Game: (25/03/2020 – 12:00)

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus), all government advice should be followed.

For the avoidance of doubt, due to the developing nature of the outbreak, all grounds teams must ensure that they are monitoring relevant Government and Public Health England (PHE) sites which may change and therefore have an impact on the contents of this document which is correct as of the morning of 25 March 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

As of 23 March 2020, the Government introduced increasingly stringent social distancing in a further attempt to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus and the potential impact on vulnerable individuals. It is essential that this advice is adhered to in relation to the health and wellbeing of all individuals.

Instructions from the Government include a host of measures (not limited to):

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport
  • Work from home, wherever possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  • Avoid all gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together
  • Avoid gatherings of more than two people. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
  • Increased isolation recommended to 14 days if any family/household member becomes unwell.
  • Vulnerable individuals (being those at “High Risk”) to isolate for 12 weeks. The Government has specified that this group of people is at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus.[1] As of 17 March 2020, this group includes:
    • Aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
    • Aged under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below:
      • Chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
      • Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
      • Chronic kidney disease
      • Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
      • Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
      • Diabetes
      • Splenic problems e.g. sickle cell disease or lack of spleen
      • A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
      • Those who are pregnant
      • People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
      • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
      • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
      • People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
      • People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
  • Avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus (these symptoms include, but are not limited to, a high temperature and/or a new and continuous cough).

Home Working, Social Distancing and Grounds Work

As a result of the Government’s announcements, a number of businesses across the United Kingdom have introduced home working for all staff. There will also be a delay to all regular cricket participation and a delay to the regular season.

The latest government guidance means that ground staff/facilities maintenance falls under:

‘Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.’

Should you decide that essential members of your grounds staff should continue to look after your facilities during this period of social isolation and are able to do so whilst keeping to the Government’s guidance, please be aware of several things that you should consider doing to minimise the impact of the virus on your teams and your business.

Things to think about with regards to your grounds:

  • Public gatherings and use of facilities are suspended.
  • Await ECB announcements regarding any regular cricket participation and return to business as usual activities.
  • Avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
  • Most of what you do naturally means that you are physically distanced from one another anyway, however, you will need to be particularly mindful of those points where you are not.
  • If you are a manager of others then do consider how to maintain effective communication.
  • Do your own risk assessment. (For businesses with five or more employees, you are required to formally document risk assessments). When you have decided on the measures you are to take then record it, communicate it and stick to it. It is very important to consider your own working habits and setting and to assess where the risk of transmission is.
  • Ensure that all surfaces and equipment are cleaned thoroughly as per government advice. Surface transmission is recognised now as the major source of spread and which can occur after prolonged periods.
  • Do ensure that the right type of products are available for hand care.
  • Some people may have drastically increased their hand washing habits and may be at risk from dermatitis. Barrier creams and skin moisturisers should be available as well as hand cleansers anyway but check and make sure people know how to use them properly. Hands are the main cause of the spread of the virus.
  • Do consider splitting your people into distinct groups of essential workers who never come into contact with each other, ideally not more than two people at a time. This would include staggered shifts/days worked, break times or even separate rest areas. This way, if one member of the team catches the virus and those around them need to self-isolate, the other team pairs will be able to operate.
  • Do maintain a minimum distance of two metres from each other, including at break times. If the weather is suitable then take the opportunity to take breaks outside. Do ensure that there is enough shade available to sit out of the sun if they wish to and that they can do so whilst maintaining their distance.
  • Do not continue with tasks that require larger team efforts, such as pulling large flat sheet covers. Either use smaller covers or stop using them at all if it cannot be done safely with divided resources.
  • Avoid using communal areas including clubhouses, toilets and kitchens unless absolutely necessary. If these are necessary, enforce heightened general hygiene measures in rest areas and communal areas. Establish regular (after each use) cleaning for all work surfaces, kettles, microwaves and sink areas etc. using disinfectant sprays.
  • Cleaning cloths should only be used once before being properly washed in a hot cycle washing machine. Alternatively, use disposable wipes or blue-roll type products instead.
  • Do not communally use mugs, plates, bowls etc and do make sure that each person has their own items with their name on or wash items in a dishwasher at a high temperature.
  • Where essential to use changing facilities, you should bring your own towels and showering/changing items.
  • Do establish a culture of cleaning machines thoroughly immediately after use, i.e. wash the machine down and disinfect the handles, grass boxes etc. Products such as kennel disinfectants are sold in bulk and are a cheap and effective way of doing this (and many of them smell nice!)
  • Do make sure that you have suitable sprayers with which to apply the products and wipe down with blue roll or similar.
  • Continue with normal best practice operations such as:
    • Mowing would ideally take place regularly. A good rule of thumb to allow mowing operations to be kept to a minimum would be not removing more that 1/3rd of the leaf in any one operation.
    • Mowing heights can be raised by around 1/3rd of normal summer heights without ill effects but turf would ideally be maintained at no more than 25mm/1inch or else turf density would be reduced.
    • Growth regulators may be used to reduce the speed of grass growth, and hence reduce the frequency of cutting, but only where a suitably qualified person is available to apply them.
    • Watering the turf would ideally continue, as needed, to prevent wilting or surface cracking.
    • Fertilisation will still be necessary, if possible, in order to maintain the sort of relatively dense and resilient turf needed for cricket. Inputs of nitrogen could be reduced by somewhere in the region of one third to half of normal rates in order to control excess top growth and limit the likelihood of disease where monitoring of the surfaces is less frequent.
    • Verticutting of squares and aeration of outfields is important, but only if you are able to do so whilst keeping within the Government’s guidance and adhering to the spirit of what we are being asked to do as a society.
    • Removing the tops from domed covers and storing any flat sheets will protect them whilst not in use.
  • Consider what will happen should we all be asked to stay at home.
  • Individuals must not be at work if:
    • they exhibit any potential symptoms; and/or
    • they have been in contact with anybody exhibiting potential symptoms of coronavirus within the past 14 days.

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

NHS COVID-19 Advice

An assumption throughout this document is that any ground staff member required at any work does not meet the current government guidance for self-isolation (as of 23 March 2020), per the PHE link included above.

Prof. Nick Peirce                                 David Newman

Chief Medical Officer                          Emergency Care Coordinator

25th March 2020

[1] Please note, there is also separate guidance for those with asthma: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/asthma.html.

 

ECB Statement (18/03/2020 – 14:00)

The ECB have issued the following statement for Leagues and Clubs.

Dear all,

Following the Government’s latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness and reluctance that we recommend that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended.

This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.

Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities – particularly at junior levels.

Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months.

It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led. And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.

Over the coming weeks we will work with the game to understand what support is required across the cricket community, particularly local clubs and leagues.

We understand that countless hours of work from thousands of volunteers have already gone into getting ready for the 2020 season and we know how disappointing this will be. We are thankful for the huge role that volunteers play in local cricket, to ensure the game remains at the heart of communities.

We know that you and your clubs can play an important role in bringing your community together once we get past this period of time.

 

Gloucestershire updates (18/03/2020 – 14:32)

  1. Junior and Senior Coaching Programmes – Despite schools and some leisure centres still being open, we have taken the decision to cancel all winter county and district coaching sessions. This is in light of last night’s government announcement, and in particular the advice for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others. We would therefore suggest strongly that it would be perfectly sensible for clubs to cancel any winter training sessions that you might currently have planned. We have just made contact with all players parents.
  2. Workforce Education Courses – Confirmation that we will also be cancelling any currently scheduled Workforce Education courses, including the upcoming ECB Foundation 1 course, UKCC2, All Stars and Dynamos Activator training, Umpires and Scorers courses, Safe Hands, First Aid and Safeguarding Courses. We will be contacting all candidates signed up shortly.  This covers all courses up to and including the end of April.
  3. 5-9 year old Easter Camps – These will also be cancelled today and we will be in contact with all parents who have booked their children on.
  4. GCB AGM – has been cancelled.
  5. Senior Clubs Friendlies – all clubs should now cancel all friendly fixtures.
  6. Chance to Shine – All Chance to Shine Schools and Street Cricket delivery has been suspended with immediate effect.

As well as the playing season implications we are aware that clubs will have other questions about club related programmes; for example All Stars Cricket and Dynamos Cricket. Much like league cricket, there will need to be a national message related to these programmes so that there is a consistency across the country. Therefore, don’t feel under pressure to start making communications or decisions in relation to these programmes.

In addition to providing updates to current coaching programme attendees and clubs, the GCB has also contacted league and competition administrators advising that we wait for ECB guidance as opposed to feeling under any pressure to make decisions or begin scenario/solution planning for the coming season.

To those reading this message, the GCB hopes that it proves helpful. We will be in touch with all stakeholders on a regular basis as we move forward and as soon as there are more ECB updates we will share these as appropriate.

In the meantime we send our very best wishes to the whole cricket community across Gloucestershire.

Please continue to check this page for future updates.

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