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Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: 5 June 2020

Next update due: 12 June 2020


ECB update on return to cricket in a club setting

Leagues update  |  Local authority discretionary grant deadlines

Club Welfare Officer webinar training |  Mental and physical wellbeing webinars for groundstaff and officials

Back To Play: Beyond the season of no sport - a report by the Grounds Management Association

(*new content asterisked)


The purpose of this webpage is to provide guidance to affiliated clubs and organisations of Hampshire Cricket Board Ltd (HCB), Southern Premier Cricket League (SPCL) and the Hampshire Cricket League (HCL), in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These FAQs have been collated jointly by the HCB, SPCL and HCL, to keep clubs up to date with the latest Government and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) advice, and to answer questions raised by clubs.  By communicating in this way we hope to provide consistent information to clubs across the three organisations.

We appreciate clubs will have many concerns and questions.  HCB, SPCL and HCL will do everything we can to support clubs through this very challenging period.  While we have attempted to provide as much information as possible there are areas where advice is being sought from ECB.  Consequently, this document will be updated as and when new information is received from the Government or ECB and would urge clubs to revisit this page on a regular basis.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison gave evidence to the DCMS select committee.  Click here and watch what he had to say (the committee starts at 9:30am and Tom appears from 10:32 to 11:01) and here to read the ECB statement.

* Updated ECB guidance for return to activity in a club setting

The purpose of these guidelines is to offer practical guidance to players and clubs on the steps they should take while undertaking recreational cricket activity and informal cricket activity in an outdoor environment given the current restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The key update in the guidance is the allowance of small group sizes (now up to six individuals), however a number of other subtle but important changes are listed throughout the document.

These guidelines currently apply to England only. Guidance specifically relating to Wales can be found here.

Consistent with UK Government guidance, published on 1 June 2020 relating to the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England, the following applies to outdoor cricket:

  • For all activity, social distancing of at least two metres must be maintained at all times (except between members of the same household).
  • Playing cricket individually is permitted e.g. practice of individual cricket skills or fitness activities.
  • Playing cricket with people living in your household is permitted.
  • Small group cricket activity, training or fitness in groups of no more than six (6), is permitted, keeping two (2) metres apart at all times.
  • Cricket coaches, can now undertake small group sessions of up to six (6) people including the coach (1:5) and they must comply with ECB safeguarding policies (as well as being able to conduct one-to-one coaching).
  • Nets should be used on an ‘every other’ basis, leaving one net free between nets.  Note that for nets within a security fence, occupancy numbers could be limited by social distancing requirements.
  • It is permissible for two or more groups of six (6) to train at the same time provided they are kept separate, and social distancing and strict hygiene measures are observed.  However, clubs should carry out a risk assessment to determine the maximum capacity for their facility that can be achieved safely whilst maintaining social distancing and not exceeding the current limits on training group size.
  • Clubhouses can be reopened in a limited way for operational reasons (e.g. for access to first aid equipment) or for toilet access (see below) but all communal areas including bar, changing rooms etc. are to remain closed for general use.
  • Toilet facilities can be opened if the venue wishes, but particular care should be taken by those using them and those cleaning them.  Where they are open, venues must ensure soap and water is provided and they are cleaned regularly.
  • No indoor cricket activity at all.
  • We recommend using your own equipment if possible.  If equipment is being shared, please follow UK Government’s guidance on the sharing of equipment.  Players should stick to using one ball in training either by bringing their own or being assigned a numbered ball that is cleaned in between sessions. 
  • No saliva or sweat should be applied to the ball at any time.
  • Wash hands at home before and after using the outdoor facilities.  Bring your own hand sanitiser where possible.

The detailed guidance dated 5 June 2020 in relation to outdoor cricket activity can be found here.

Please click here for the ECB statement of 28 May which also announced that the professional domestic season will not restart before 1 August.

Thank you for the 128 responses to the club facilities, funding and playing survey.  Replies came from clubs forming 294 of the 359 open and women's league teams, and a summary of your responses is below.  Online meetings have taken place with senior, junior and indoor leagues and further meetings are scheduled in June.

* Financial Support

Government, Sport England, England and Wales Cricket Board and other funding sources

Please click here for the latest information on the new dedicated funding support page.  The Club Funding webinar, where we were joined by ECB Facilities Planning Manager Duncan Jenkinson, has been added, along with details of the ECB League Emergency Loan Scheme (which covers match ball costs amongst other items).

Online Learning

June is #HantsLearningMonth!  Please click here to head over to our brand new webpage to brush up and enhance your umpiring, scoring, groundsmanship and social media skills. 

You could gain your level 1 umpiring for free and level 1 groundsmanship for just £25!  Hampshire Cricket Board will re-imburse GMA grassroots club membership (cost £65) which entitles all club groundstaff to big reductions course fees and a great range of benefits.

Courses are provided by ECB, Google Digital Garage and the GMA (Grounds Management Association, formerly the IoG, Institute of Groundsmanship). 

* Leagues and Hampshire Cricket Board

Hampshire Cricket Board has now held video meetings with senior, junior and indoor leagues and communication with clubs and leagues will be ongoing.

* Joint statement 5 June 2020

Between the county cricket board and the two major leagues in Hampshire, we wanted to release a joint statement to help clarify the position with regard to recreational cricket in Hampshire and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On a national level recreational cricket remains suspended, which means that apart from the exceptions which were added to today (nets, group activity and coaching of no more than 6) no cricket activity is able to take place.  The ECB continue to make representations to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to explore ways in which cricket at the recreational level can be made safe and possible in these difficult times.

While cricket fans around Hampshire will be pleased with the recent announcement regarding the restart of England Cricket (next month) and County Club fixtures (no sooner than 1st August), this does not apply to the recreational game.

The ECB have made clear in regular calls with parties that if the recreational game is to return at any point in 2020 this will likely have to be done using both a phased approach and in keeping with strict guidelines.

At the local level both the Hampshire League and Southern Premier League have now confirmed, as per their previous communications to their member clubs that promotion and relegation will now not apply for the 2020 season.

Both leagues are committed to supporting clubs in providing some level of cricket if and when it is permitted by the government.  On Wednesday evening, as part of the regular ECB Premier League call it was made clear that that while the current suspension still remains in place, options needs to be looked at as to what might be possible in the future. The current thinking is that activity in groups of 6 should be the first thing, with group sizes increasing in line with government decisions.  Guidance on group cricket activity including coaching has been released by the ECB today.  Actual match play in
whatever different format is at least a month away, but at this time the current suspension of recreational cricket remains in place.

Please continue to refer to these joint COVID-19 FAQs which is updated on a regular basis.

Ben Thompson – Director, Hampshire Cricket Board
Denis Emery – Chairman, Hampshire Cricket League
Steve Vear MBE – Chairman, Southern Premier Cricket League

Will affiliation/entry/match ball/handbook fees be refunded?  

HCB affiliation fees will be waived for 2020 season. 

SPCL issued the following statement on 5 April 2020:  “Invoices:  with the economic difficulties that this situation may cause, the League will be delaying the invoicing of clubs until the end of the season and will charge for the umpire and balls on a pro-rata basis.  Development Fund:  for the 2020 season only, we have decided to relax the rules to access to the development fund. For those clubs with monies in the fund, should you wish to withdraw your funds, please contact me.  Handbook:  to reduce the costs to our member clubs, we have decided that we will not be producing a physical handbook for this season and will be looking at a ‘special addition’ for 2021. We will be adding a PDF format to website for people to download should they wish.”  Please click here to view the statement in full.

On 4 May 2020 HCL chair Denis Emery stated: "As yet we have no start date for the 2020 season from the ECB and as you know there will be no chance of any cricket until 1st July.  Due to the decision by the Southern Premier League to stop promotions etc from 4th June we have had to change our stance.  If there is a start to recreational cricket by Saturday 4th July we will continue with the League Fixtures until the end of August and the winners will win the trophy for their League. However there will be no promotion and relegation from each League.  The start will depend on Government and ECB advice.  If cricket can only start with certain restrictions then we will probably resort to friendly matches using the 2020 fixtures predominantly.  September would not be an option for League cricket as many clubs would not have access to the ground as football takes over.  We could not have some clubs available and others not.  We have all the League balls for 2020 season in storage with the manufacturers and if they are not required for 2020 season they will be kept until 2021 season.  If we do manage to get some cricket in we can arrange with the manufacturers to supply us with some of your order.  If there is no cricket this season then the entry fee may rolled over to 2021 season, as will be the Handbooks although we have promised that all Clubs will be given 12 handbooks free.  There will be no handbooks for 2020 (we will post part of the handbook on the website) if there is no cricket and all the statistics etc will be in the 2021 issue."  HCL vice-chair Philip Wilson made the following statement issued 28 March 2020: "HCL cricket balls that the clubs ordered have been paid for and are being stored by Dukes.  These will be distributed later this season at a date yet to determined.  Since any excess balls not used in the 2020 season can be used in the 2021 season it will mean, inevitably, a smaller order by each club for the 2021 season.  Handbooks are being made available, at no cost for the first 12 for each and every club, again distribution will be a date yet to be determined.  If there is no cricket in the 2020 season then the question of the entry fees for 2020, would be discussed by Committee and may be held over for 2021 entry fee."  

Will there be flexibility to Get The Game On in terms of formats, scheduling of matches and rules and regulations?  Will there be promotion and relegation? 

  • Please click here for the SPCL statement issued on 5 April 2020.
  • Please click here for HCL statement issued on 20 March 2020. 

Return To Cricket

Will there be a national recruitment campaign to encourage participation in grassroots cricket?

We are awaiting further information from the ECB.  HCB and the leagues will work tirelessly to ensure the recreational game resumes in the best possible shape.  

Will there be consultation with the FA if there is cricket in September on use of facilities shared with football?

Consultations continue to take place between ECB, Sport England and other sports’ governing bodies on the conditions under which recreational games can resume.

* General Advice

What advice and support will be available for clubs and organisations?

  • Cancelled courses and lapsed qualifications (1st aid, Health and Safety)
    1st aid training must take place face to face.  On resumption of cricket activity, please be aware of whose qualifications are in date and ensure someone qualified is on site while activities are taking place.  Please seek courses as soon as possible for those whose qualifications have expired.  HCB will contact all clubs in the coming weeks to establish likely course requirements.  HCB will also run Health and Safety courses for foreign nationals should the need arise.
  • ECB Frequently Asked Questions / Survey
    Please click here for the latest ECB FAQs in response to your survey replies, thanks to all who completed it. The answers have provided valuable insights into what ECB should be doing to support Counties, Clubs and Leagues.  Across the survey, containing responses from over 1000 clubs, we are clear that Finance and Players are the biggest concerns with Grounds and Pitches not far behind.  With the Finance Support package in place ECB are turning our attention to Players and Grounds over the next few weeks and we will share more details in the coming weeks.
  • * Facility maintenance  
    Please click here for ECB guidance on Coronavirus and Grounds Maintenance in the Recreational Game.  The ECB and Grounds Management Association (GMA, formerly the IoG) have jointly produced guidance which can also be found at the same link.  It has been updated to reflect recent the recent fine weather.  ECB Guidance on managing temporarily closed or permanently unoccupied properties has also been added to the same webpage, along with a new publication "Managing Vacant Buildings and Operating Safely – A Guide for Recreational Cricket Clubs".  Finally, please click here for the "GMA Live: Back to play - mental health strategies" webinar on Tuesday 18 June, 730-830pm.  Adapting to the 'new-normal' can present challenges for grounds staff, volunteers, and businesses - so a panel for our latest webinar, led by broadcaster and writer Mark Clemmit will discuss and explore mental health strategies for the grounds sector.
  • Health and hygiene
    Please click here for the latest Government guidance.
  • Insurance: will insurance companies either pay out on lost income due to business interruption or rebate / refund premiums due to the lack of cricket?
    Please refer to your insurer.  In the event that there is a query as to whether COVID-19 is covered under business interruption, clubs will need to take this up with the Financial Ombudsman.
  • Keeping your club / organisation running
    Please click here for tips, tools and ideas on helping to keep your club functioning, and on working with your members.  Sport England Club Matters are updating the page frequently.
  • * Well-beingHeather Vernon, as well as being National Scorer Officer for the ECB Association of Cricket Officials, is also a counsellor and psychotherapist.  Please click here for her helpful guide to maintaining well-being among the officiating community.
  • * Safeguarding 
    ECB Safeguarding team have recognised some challenges you may be facing, due to the important restrictions implemented by the government.  We have put in place a couple of changes to support you.  Please click here for details of interim training for new and existing club welfare officers.
  • #TogetherThroughThisTest
    ECB has launched ‘Together Through This Test’, a nationwide campaign shining a light on the work undertaken by the game in response to COVID-19 and highlighting the resources available to the public.  Please click here and see if you can spot a Hampshire club paying tribute to the NHS and All Star cricketer Elouise from Mottisfont in the film "The Wait" voiced by Stephen Fry.

All Stars and Dynamos Cricket for 5-12 year olds

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 for the time being in line with government guidance.  We will do everything we can to run programmes later in the year should the government guidance allow us to do so and we will remain in touch with any updates as and when they are available.  If the situation means we are unable to reschedule programmes for a later date, we will ensure that refunds or credits are available for participants.

We know that cricket can play a huge part in supporting physical and mental wellbeing of children around the country and we are continuing to explore ways that we can bring cricket to homes through indoor games, challenges, and digital content. 

We are delighted to be able to share with you the 2020 All Stars Activity Booklet which has been adapted so that all content is suitable for families whilst they are at home – a download link can be found here. We will have shared this booklet with parents later this afternoon. We look forward to seeing quiz answers, recipe outcomes and videos of cricket skills from all our junior cricketers.

We wrote to all those who have signed up to All Stars Cricket 2020 to let them know that their All Stars kit is on its way to them!  The packs will provide children with bats and balls to help them hone their cricket skills and remain physically active during this period. Within the pack is also an activity booklet in which All Stars will find games and activities that they can play alone, or with the rest of the family.

The new Dynamos Cricket app provides lots of ways to get active, learn new skills and keep the family entertained:

The 18 different skills videos and interactive quizzes provide lots of ways for children to get active at home, even with minimal space and equipment.  The app features will enable children to:

  • Create a personal profile
  • Learn new batting, bowling and fielding skills through activities and videos, with three levels of difficulty per area
  • Do fun quizzes to earn virtual runs
  • Learn about the different teams from The Hundred and pick their favourite

Click here for more information.  Please note that Dynamos children and parents will receive their personalised new-balance Dynamos t-shirt closer to programme start dates.  Please click here for the full ECB update issued 24 April.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact our help desk.

Who to Contact

The following activities have been suspended and all participants have been contacted.  We will let you know when activities/courses resume.

HCB team members are on furlough leave for the months of May and June except:

  • Ben Thompson, Cricket Development Director
  • Simon Jones, Cricket Development Manager
  • Mike Pollard, Cricket Development Manager
  • Andy Sharp, Finance

If you have any queries, please email and a member of staff will respond asap.

  • All Stars Cricket / Dynamos Cricket
  • County Club Championships
  • Courses and Events  
    • Coach education courses
    • Safeguarding and Play-Cricket courses
    • Umpiring and Scoring courses: please click here to contact the Hampshire Association of Cricket Officials (HACO) 
    • Women’s Cricket Expo and Women’s Softball Coaching Course
  • Disability Cricket (Super1s / County Teams)  
  • Girls’ Regional Performance Centres (RPCs)
  • Schools Cricket
  • Street Cricket
  • W10
  • Wicketz
All News