Since the announcement of our “T30” adapted competition, social media has been abuzz with comment and debate. This FAQ intends to address questions people have asked and provide reasoning behind some of the decisions made. All were done with the best interests of our clubs, players and officials at heart as we try our best to find a middle ground that is acceptable.
Why 2pm? Why not 11am, or 12pm?
2pm was initially floated as a suitable start time for several reasons. Part of the ECB’s guidelines for reaching Stage 4 in their pathway was ensuring specific measures were put in place at clubhouses and social facilities to meet social distancing regulations and ensure safe gatherings can take place. An unusually early finish increases the likelihood of a social gathering snowballing, so a finish at approximately the normal time of the completion of a 50 over match would mitigate the chances of this happening.
At junior-level, many of our clubs have matches already scheduled for the various age-ranges on Saturday mornings and so there is a considerable risk of senior players arriving at a time when many children and their parents are still on site. We felt it would be cognizant to ensure a reasonable gap between adult and junior matches to offer the best opportunity for the environment to be made as safe as it can be. This effectively rules out being able to start matches earlier than 1:00pm.
Other smaller considerations were to make it more appealing to those working Saturday mornings (as many have had to switch to more temporary employment due to the crisis) and to help clubs be better prepared for playing cricket under a host of unusual conditions.
In our final survey sent out on 10th July to all clubs who have expressed an interest in submitting at least one team, one of the questions for them to answer is whether 1:00pm or 2:00pm is a preferred start time. We will consider the responses and make a final decision in plenty of time before “D-Day”.
Why is it 30 overs?
Stage Four of the ECB guidelines state that it must be an adapted form of the game with restrictions and new procedures being introduced; many of which may feel alien. Whilst T20 could’ve been an option, we felt a 30-over format would handle the new guidelines with regards to social distancing better whilst still feeling like a substantial days play. There are also hygiene breaks every 6 overs to consider, which further interrupts the flow of a match and a 30-over format offers greater flexibility to “bed in” the new restrictions.
When will the fixtures be released?
The final survey to clubs has been sent out to club secretaries and representatives on the 10th July to respond to by midnight on Sunday 12th July. The final amount of teams will be clear and we will be able to arrange the fixture list accordingly. We expect to have the T30 Fixtures published by the early part of the W/C 12th July.
What’s going to be different in the rules?
The competition will mostly be run using the existing 2019 rule book, however there will be some supplemented changes to take into account the new regulations. Bowlers will be allowed a maximum of 6 overs and there may be a change in the way we deal with inclement weather given the lack of sheltering facilities there will be at some grounds (who wants to sit in their car for a prolonged length of time and watch it rain?). Finally, the normal points system will apply to the T30 tournament.
A full supplement to the 2019 rulebook will be published in due course.
Are there any prizes for the group winners?
Each group's winners will be awarded £100.
What about umpires?
As some may already be aware; the Umpires Association will not be supplying or arranging for umpires to preside at fixtures during the Covid-19 crisis. There are a small number of UA members who are willing to umpire but this must be arranged by clubs between those willing members. Alternatively, clubs will either have to provide their own club umpire or if that is not possible players will be required to step in.
The Umpires Pool may be utilised but please be aware that we are in the process of recruiting volunteers for the Pool and as such it is still in its infancy. You can contact Stephen Sykes for more information on this at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recommend Club umpires should receive £20 expenses for each match they officiate at. We strongly recommend that expenses are paid in notes, rather than coins for safety reasons.