Cricket Scotland update on cricket activity in 2020, Coronavirus and the potential impacts on cricket in Scotland
Cricket Scotland has confirmed that it will wait until the 7th of 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. This decision follows a Board meeting that took place on Tuesday 21th April. Current activity is suspended until 1st June 2020 and this is likely to be extended, but Cricket Scotland will be guided by Government policies surrounding COVID-19.
Chief Executive Gus Mackay said:
The Board has decided to defer further guidance on cricket activity until early May when Government is due to announce the next steps and possible relaxations on lockdown measures. These are unprecedented times and we have the responsibility to follow guidelines and policies set by Governments.
The health and well being of our Players, Officials, Clubs, and others involved in our game are, of course, a priority. Cricket is a team sport and thus brings particular social distancing issues. In recent weeks, Cricket Scotland has engaged with Clubs and Leagues through a Club survey to establish the financial impact of no cricket activity this season at the recreational level. 90% of the 130 clubs responded which has provided some useful data that has shown that clubs would lose overall in the region of £500,000 if no cricket was played. As a result of this, we are in discussion with the appropriate bodies to ask for assistance to aid our clubs through this difficult time.
Last week a meeting was held with the representatives of all Leagues from across Scotland who are prepared for a shorter league season and will adapt their fixtures accordingly in the time frame available should cricket activity commence later in the season. However, the main concerns were around providing a safe environment for players and officials when it is likely that social distancing measures are likely to remain in place for some time to help contain the virus. Concern was also raised around the preparation of cricket facilities that are maintained by local councils who will have other priorities at this time.
A survey of our Clubs has been carried out to understand better the potential impact of the crisis upon their viability until the sport resumes. That information will be used to inform Sportscotland (a goverment agency) and the Scottish Government in their work to try and support Clubs across all sports. It will also enable Cricket Scotland to assess what support it can provide including advising Clubs on where they might seek funding to ensure they can survive the crisis. We have also produced advice for Clubs on such issues as grounds maintenance at this time to prepare pitches for cricket later in the year.
Cricket Scotland has taken the very difficult decision to furlough most of its playing, coaching, development, and administrative colleagues with effect from 1st April 2020 and apply to the UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. To ensure those colleagues do not suffer financially, Cricket Scotland will top up their salaries to 100%.