彩票代理

Boris Johnson confirms cricket can return next week in latest U-turn

Club cricket has finally been given the green light to resume from July 11th after Boris Johnson asked for his own DRS review.

Just hours before the daily briefing that cheered the hearts of all recreational cricketers the Prime Minister had continued to put a block on the summer game by taking aim at the humble tea and changing rooms for reasons why it couldn't be played.

But in a welcome reverse, Johnson admitted that he had been 'stumped' by the earlier question and after taking appropriate advice from the third umpire – in this case, chief medical officer Chris Whitty – he was now ready for the game at club level to resume.

Johnson said: “I just want to be clear.

"Having been stumped on the radio this morning, I sought scientific advice and medical opinion, the third umpire has been invoked.

“We do want to work as fast as possible to get cricket back and we will be publishing guidelines in the next few days so that cricket can resume in time for next weekend.”

Boris Johnson confirms cricket can return next week in latest U-turn 彩票代理 第1张Another change of position from the Prime Minister (Image: Sky News)
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The ECB promptly responded to Johnson's U-turn, declaring: "We are delighted that the UK Government have given their permission for recreational cricket to return from next weekend.

"We will shortly be publishing our approved guidelines to help clubs and players prepare for cricket's return."

It came just a matter of hours after Johnson, speaking on LBC Radio, had earlier stated: “The risk is not so much the ball - though that may be a factor - it’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on.

"There are other factors involved which generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis.”

Those remarks provoked a furious backlash from the sport, notably from the ECB themselves.

“The ECB believes that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other activities being currently permitted,” said a spokesperson.

“The detailed submission we have shared with the Department For Digital, Culture, Media and Sport includes advice on how we can stage cricket safely and mitigate all potential risks."

Boris Johnson confirms cricket can return next week in latest U-turn 彩票代理 第4张Johnson on Friday afternoon (Image: 10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty)

Johnson's remarks were also described by the head of the club game, Simon Prodger, as "totally bizarre" and "ill-informed".

“The issues that he raises have been covered in the discussions between the ECB and DCMS a long time ago,” Prodger said.

“These kind of issues were covered off a couple months ago. There's no one in the recreational game that I'm aware of that hasn't acknowledged already that traditional cricket teas are not going to be possible this year.

"It's totally bizarre. We do wonder whether he's taken any reference from DCMS about the discussions and negotiations that they're having with the ECB.

“I don't know whether he's ill-informed, or whether he hasn't taken any advice or whether he's been briefed, I don't know.

"But I do know, with the government ministry that the ECB has to work with these issues would have formed very much of the general negotiations and general discussions about getting the game back on."

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There will be some obvious amendments to the game to ensure social distancing and to keep contact between players to a minimum such as the need for individual teas and for players to arrive ready to play in their kit, avoiding the changing rooms.

Pavilions and club bars will also need to be operated under strict social distancing guidelines to ensure that risks are minimised as much as possible, while on the field celebrations must be kept to a minimum.

Whitty added: “One of the issues with cricket is it brings together much larger numbers of people in terms of linking households than you do the six people that is laid out as the maximum number who should be meeting even outdoors now.

“But it is perfectly possible to have cricket where people do keep their distance.

“And provided people don't do things that are clearly not sensible ranging from hugging the bowler who has bowled someone for a duck through to spitting on the ball it should be able to make the game very safe as an outdoor sport at a distance.”

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