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Diss and Old Buckenham Cricket Clubs looking forward to getting back out on the pitch

At times it looked unlikely that any recreational cricket would be played in 2020, but tomorrow the sport is set to make a welcome return.

Despite having previously contributed to those doubts with some of his comments about the sport, Prime Minister Boris Johnson provided the green light late last week for a July 11 start.

The ECB has issued a number of social distancing and hygiene guidelines, but crucially they have announced no changes in terms of number of players per team, nor will there be a cap on the number of overs permitted per match.

Cricket action from Diss v Cromer..Diss Bowling ..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (38086323)
Cricket action from Diss v Cromer..Diss Bowling ..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (38086323)

The rumour mill had previously suggested games may be restricted to eight or even six players a side – a format that Diss would have struggled to support.

However, though they have no league cricket to play after the Norfolk Cricket Board recently opted to abandon the 2020 season, Rectory Meadow is set to host an inter-club game this weekend.

Chairman Douglas Young said: “Some cricket is better than no cricket but we would not have been keen on six-a-side or a variation of that.

“That is fine to play for fun, but our players want to play some competitive cricket.

“Hopefully we can get an internal game going at the weekend and then sort other things from there.”

Old Buckenham, meanwhile, are eager to make up for lost time.

Committee member Terry Perry said: “We don’t know if it will be an inter-club game or a friendly this weekend, but it will just be good to get the club up and running again.

“Less overs would have meant batsmen got less time at the crease and bowlers didn’t get as many overs. Some players would not have participated and then would have questioned whether it is worth it.

“We need to be enticing people back to the sport because they have been doing other things like golf, so the more cricket we have the better.

“Games at weekends and T20s during the week – things like that.”

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