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NCU Update for Clubs - 15th May 2020

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The NCU Board provides the following update to clubs:

On Tuesday 12th May 2020 the NI Executive announced its approach to decision making to gradually ease the restrictions currently imposed upon us. This included a section specifically addressing sport, cultural and leisure facilities setting out a five stage plan. No indicative dates have been given for the introduction of any of those stages.

We can surmise that the first possible step when we might resume some cricket activity could be at step 2 with "the resumption of team sports training in small groups", then in larger groups at step 3. It remains to be seen whether the resumption of matches will be at step 4.

In support of the Executive's phased approach Sport NI is developing a "sports sector framework for recovery" to act as a high level guide for sports as they consider their specific plans for resumption. This should be available next week.

In the meantime, Cricket Ireland has been leading the development of a "Back to cricket training/playing" protocol in consultation with health experts, sports authorities, players/officials and the Provincial Unions. This has to address the tricky balance between the public health requirements that must be met to allow for the protection of everyone involved including the wider community, and the desire to have meaningful and enjoyable cricket activity without unduly onerous conditions. This will have to be agreed with Sport NI and the NI Executive before any resumption of cricket can take place.

We announced previously that cricket activity would be suspended until at least 28th May 2020. The NCU Board met on 14th May and decided that the suspension of all cricket activity will continue until we receive clarity from Sport NI and the NI Executive. We will also take into account the responses of clubs to our suggested programme for cricket in what will be, at best, a truncated season.

In addition, it was agreed that registrations and starrings should not be required from clubs until such times as there is clarity around the date for recommencement of competitive cricket.

Our priority is to support our clubs to deliver elements of outdoor cricket in a responsible way that does not compromise safety.

League Restructuring Consultation

We have received responses from almost every club to the proposals for the restructuring of the Robinson Services Premier and Senior Leagues. We are grateful for the time and thought given to this subject by our clubs. There was overwhelming support for change.  However, some suggestions for variations to the proposals were also received principally relating to the number of teams in each league.

It was also clear that many clubs did not wish for the proposals to take effect until season 2022 and the Board has agreed with this.

The Board has now asked the Domestic Cricket Directorate to review the proposals in light of the responses working towards proposals for change to be tabled at this years' AGM, for implementation in the 2022 season.

Some documents to accompany this article
NI Executive Roadmap
Sport NI statement - recovery framework sports sector 12 05 20