Resuming cricket not yet safe, says UK PM Boris Johnson
The England and Wales County Board has been discussing with the government the resumption of the game at the amateur level, including plans to limit the strength of each side to six or eight instead of 11.Updated: Jun 24, 2020 00:58 IST
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday announced a raft of measures to relax the lockdown in England, but doused expectations of resuming cricket amidst ideal summer weather on the ground that “the ball is a natural vector of disease”.
Responding to Conservative MP Greg Clark, who said half of summer cricket has been lost and asked if the game could be resumed now, Johnson said: “The problem with cricket, as everyone understands, is that the ball is a natural vector of disease - potentially, at any rate”.
“We’ve been around it many times with our scientific friends. At the moment we’re still working on ways to make cricket more Covid-secure but we can’t change the guidance yet,” he added in the House of Commons.
Clark believes that it is “absurd” that cricket cannot be played when it is one of the more socially-distanced game for players and spectators at most county clubs; many clubs have suffered severe losses due to cricket not being played.
The England and Wales County Board has been discussing with the government the resumption of the game at the amateur level, including plans to limit the strength of each side to six or eight instead of 11.
Johnson announced easing one of the key lockdown curbs – from 2-metre social distancing to 1-metre – that will allow pubs restaurants, museums, galleries and cinemas to reopen from July 4. The relaxation has been possible after the UK recorded dwindling number of infections in recent days and weeks.
He said: “Most leisure facilities and tourist attractions will reopen if they can do so safely, including outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades as well as libraries, social clubs and community centres”.
“’Close proximity’ venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will need to remain closed for now, as will bowling alleys and water parks”, he added.