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Leagues, HCB and local and national competitions

* Leagues, Hampshire Cricket Board and other competitions

Last updated: 3 July 2020

Next update due: 10 July 2020

* Club fixture support

HCB has been approached by a number of clubs for help with arranging local club run fixture groups.  While HCB does not have the capacity to manage local competitions across the county, we can support club-run fixture groups in accordance with government and ECB COVID19 guidance in place at the time.  This is in addition to the league cup for Southern Premier League clubs, and while clubs are welcome to use existing Hampshire League fixtures as friendlies and do not have to take part, this approach maximises any opportunity for competitive cricket in 2020.  Please enter teams by 9am Tuesday 7th July:

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Joint statement 25th June 2020

Following our first joint statement on 5th June between the county cricket board and the two major leagues in Hampshire, we wanted to release a further update as to our planning for the return of cricket in the surrounding area.

While recreational cricket still remains suspended and despite the recent comments from the Prime Minister the ECB has released confirmation that they remain confident that cricket can move toward Stage 4 on the previously released roadmap to cricket, meaning that adapted game play should be possible together with COVID secure guidelines.

At the time of writing there is no indication as to when the next update will come from either the Department of Culture, Media and Sport or the ECB. In the meantime, we believe it to be prudent to continue to plan in a positive way.

In recent discussions, both leagues in Hampshire have agreed what their approach to games will be in the hope that we will still cricket during the 2020 season.

Hampshire Cricket League

  • The competitive League Season is to be abandoned and will be using their existing fixture structure to provide friendly cricket for those clubs who would like it. The format will be entirely up to the teams on the day, although we would recommend 30/40 over matches. 
  • If there are clubs that are not able to take part in their originally published fixtures they will be invited to arrange their own friendly or contact The League for guidance.
  • The HCL have no objections to teams playing local matches subject to their ground availability, as long as we know in advance that clubs are not using the 2020 fixtures and we know their original opponents are without a game.
  • We would encourage all members to “Get The Game On” whether playing Saturdays, Sundays and in September, making up for lost time.

Southern Premier Cricket League

  • Providing 11 a side cricket is allowed in due course, they will be combining the Premier League with Division 1 and combining Division 2 and 3 to provide a competitive league cup. Entry into the competition will be completely optional and clubs will be contacted in due course
  • The existing fixture structure will be used, but the league will work with clubs who still would like to enter but do not have access to their normal ground.
  • Dependent on anticipated COVID secure guidelines, game format will start at 40 overs but will drop no lower than 20.

All three organisations remain committed to working with clubs to try and facilitate as much cricket as possible and will provide further ECB COVID guidance when it is available.   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

 * Local and national competitions

HCB will shortly contact clubs in to establish appetite for and under 19 T20 competition.  Clubs who have entered the under 17 Kerry Cup should confirm whether they can still participate should the competition take place, and additional entries are also welcome.  Please click here to email organiser Malcolm Kerry. 

Please click here for the ECB announcement on national competitions on 25 June 2020.

Club Survey

Hampshire Cricket Board holds regular video meetings with senior, junior and indoor leagues and latest news will be added to this page.  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. 

Previous updates

Please click here to view the ECB update dated 18 June 2020 to counties and premier leagues.  Premier league chair Steve Vear provided a further update on 20 June 2020 - to view please click here (Facebook) or here (Twitter) following a video call on 16 June with premier league chairs, committees and HCB (slides below):

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

HCB affiliation fees will be waived for 2020 season.

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

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." 

5 April 2020: SPCL issued the following statement:  “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.

28 March 2020: 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."  

20 March 2020: please click here for HCL statement. 

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