Northern Ireland Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers

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Chairman's Message - June 2020


I trust this finds you well.

As most of you will be aware, Cricket Ireland issued a statement last night on behalf of the Provincial Unions that return to action protocols had been approved in principle.

Last night the NCU held a club information meeting (see attached document) to inform clubs of what that process looks like. It is important to recognise that this is wholly dependent on the progress of the Stormont Executives phased lifting of restrictions.

In short, It is expected that clubs may return to training next week as NI enters stage 2. There is a lot to happen before they can do this however as each club must complete a risk assessment, appoint a COVID 19 officer, check their insurance (Advice to the NCU is that COVID 19 is regarded as a "hazardous substance"). The NCU will appoint one of their staff to be a designated contact for each club, which will include NIACUS.

Stage 3 will herald a move to group training and thereafter it is hoped to move to stage 4 - a return to competitive cricket which will subject to many restrictions and changes, including the likelihood of no crowds, clubhouses closed, players and officials arriving changed and the possibility of changes to playing regulations (for example WK's not being allowed to stand up to slow bowlers, umpires standing 2m from spin bowlers during and over, 20 / 30 over games in lieu of 50. Basically everything is on the table at present in an attempt to get cricket played safely in 2020 if at all possible. It could even extend to a temporary re-structure of leagues to reduce travel and take cognisance of clubs who potentially may not feel it appropriate to return to action this year.

Again and obviously, this is all dependent on the NI Executive moving through the stages which as you know carry no definitive timelines or dates but the Union hopes that late July is possible for a start to playing competitive cricket. We wait to see.

NIACUS will continue to liaise closely with the NCU in terms of protection of our members and naturally we will keep in touch with yourselves. Hopefully the above and attached is clear but should anyone have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to give me a call or drop me an email.

In the meantime, stay safe.