Joint statement from YSPL & SYSCL on Covid-19 situation
Posted on 20th March 2020 at 11:32
Following discussions between the two leagues and consultation with the management committees of both, the following has been agreed in response to the current Covid-19 virus outbreak.
Following advice from the Government to avoid any unnecessary travel or social contact, all meetings in connection with league business are cancelled until further notice.
In reaching a decision about the 2020 league programme we have taken into account:
government advice on travel and social contact
the fact that current measures to minimise social contact are likely to become more stringent over the coming days and are likely to remain in place for at least the next 12 weeks, before a managed relaxation can take place if the measures are successful
the fact that the running of the leagues depends on many volunteers who are ‘at risk’ through either age or underlying health conditions
there will inevitably be people in our clubs who will need to self-isolate and others with concerns about their families that will mean that they will not want to play
the financial impact on clubs of the resulting reduced income due to reduced clubhouse usage, fundraising functions, etc
the need for clubs to know where they stand and to be able to plan for the future as far as is possible
that once cricket playing activity can be resumed, clubs will need some time to prepare for games
We have therefore decided that league games for the first half of the season will be cancelled. We will attempt to start a league programme based on teams playing each other once, utilising the existing fixtures, from 28 June (YSPL) and 4 July (SYSCL).
We will continue to monitor the situation, and if it is possible to play earlier than these dates, we will arrange for t20 or friendly matches to be played, or both, giving clubs as much notice as possible. If the start has to be put back by more than a couple of weeks after these dates, it is unlikely that we will be able to play any meaningful league competitions, but we will look to play t20 and cup competitions if at all possible. In either case, we will provide an update by the end of April.
We are currently considering and consulting on the issue of promotion and relegation in the event of reduced league programme being played, and will make a further announcement on that shortly.
We have considered the position of overseas players in the current situation, taking into account that:
there is no guarantee that they will be able to get into or out of the country in the foreseeable future
as only a reduced league programme will be played, the financial viability of bringing an overseas player to the UK is questionable – and we would not want to see one of our clubs put their financial stability at risk in already difficult circumstances
if an overseas player contracts the virus and becomes ill or worse, the club will have 'employer responsibility' – and an overseas player may well be unable to access our health service
We therefore strongly advise clubs not to proceed with the engagement of overseas players for this season. We advise clubs who have not entered into Contracts to cease any further discussions, and encourage clubs who have contracts in place with overseas players to contact them or their agents.
We also strongly advise everyone to follow the recommendations of the ECB this week in relation to suspending cricket-based activity, as well as the advice of the NHS in preventing the spread of the virus.
It is clear that, unfortunately, not everyone as yet fully appreciates the seriousness of the situation. At present, as far as we are aware, no-one connected with our leagues has as yet contacted the virus – it should be our main aim to keep it that way.
We do not know what will happen in the coming months, but keeping safe, healthy and looking after loved ones is bigger than a bat and ball game. Please stay safe everyone.
If you have any queries in connection with the above, please do not hesitate to contact either of us.
Roger Pugh David Ward
Chairman Chief Executive
Yorkshire South Premier League South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League
07887 732176 07753 866144
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