Cricket Ireland scrap 40 and 5...


Cricket Ireland scrap 40 and 50 over National Cup competitions

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Cricket Ireland has confirmed that T20 will be the longest form played in the club season as it released its Safe Return to Play Protocols (SRTPP).

The club game is set to return this month but due to the shortened season and protocols in place, the Cricket Ireland Cricket Committee has approved the proposal that only one of the three national cup competitions can be held in 2020.

The committee held consultations with Sport Ireland, Sport NI, Provincial Unions, umpires, players and other stakeholder groups  in order "to help shape the structure of the season in 2020".

"Cricket is a non-contact team sport, but there are risks all the same that we’ve had to address in our COVID-conscious world," said Participation Director for Cricket Ireland, Elaine Nolan.

"Most pertinently, cricket often sees players and officials in close proximity over long durations – more than three hours for a T20 game, and longer for other forms of the game.

“The cricket ball is also a possible virus transmission medium and – in normal times - on-field activity can include celebrations with body contact, and shared use of facilities, drink bottles, towels and equipment.

"Some participants, such as umpires, scorers, match referees and support staff, are often in vulnerable age categories, and at a higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, particularly umpires who spend the greatest amount of time in close proximity to players.

"All of these aspects of the game had to be considered to reduce the risk of virus transmission."

Nolan said that the decision was then taken to stick with the shorter format for the upcoming season but that they will keep the situation under review.

"The fruits of that consultation were put to the Sport Ireland Expert Group and the conclusion was that shorter duration activity provides less risk than longer duration activity," she added.

"As such, supported by the Provincial Unions and Cricket Committee, T20 will be the longest format of cricket played at club level for now.

"This will remain under review, but competitions will be structured around this format at the club level."

That decision means that at club level the longer format competitions will be scrapped for this year.

"A further decision has been required at the national level regarding the three all-Ireland cup competitions in 2020," said Nolan.

"In order to comply with the protocols and manage issues around travel and competition integrity, the Cricket Ireland Cricket Committee has endorsed the proposal that the much-loved 50- and 40-over competitions – the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup and Clear Currency National Cup –cannot be held in 2020.

"While disappointing for fans and players alike, this will allow clubs and Unions to focus primarily on local competitions instead.

"The good news is that we have agreed with Cricket Committee and Provincial Unions that we hope to proceed with the All-Ireland T20 Cup competition that will determine the best T20 club side in Ireland.

"This would provide a fitting end to what has truly been a challenging season for all of us.

"We continue to be grateful to the whole cricket family for their cooperation and patience as we have steered the sport to a place where activity can resume, and we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable return."

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Cricket Ireland Cricket Ireland Cricket Committee Elaine Nolan Sport Ireland Sport NI

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