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The South Nottinghamshire Cricket League could return next weekend should the English Cricket Board give the green light

Hundreds of cricketers will be able to return to the crease this weekend after some sporting restrictions were lifted by the government.

The return at grassroots level means the South Nottinghamshire Cricket League, where most of the district’s teams play, can kick-start the season.

Sam Ross batting for Balderton. (12880572)
Sam Ross batting for Balderton. (12880572)

The league said it was fantastic news, and will wait for further guidance from the English Cricket Board before commenting further.

However, it issued a provisional fixture list that would see the season start next weekend (July 18) and features a Division A derby at Dale Field as Collingham 1sts host Balderton 1sts.

In Division D, Southwell 1sts host Bottesford 1sts while Newark R&M 1sts are to travel to Inholms Gardens to play Flintham 1sts.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “It will come as great news to our nation of recreational cricketers that the UK government has given the green light.

“We have had a responsibility throughout this period of time to work with the UK government and to plan alongside the cricket network to try and mitigate covid-19’s impact on the season.

“We have maintained a constant dialogue with UK government and they’ve been supportive of our desire to see recreational cricket return when it is safe.

“As the nation’s summer sport we believe we have a role to play in getting people active across the country, especially young people, and it is heartening to know that club cricket — albeit with social distancing in place and some other adaptations — will soon be back across England.”

Martyn Hill (37075807)
Martyn Hill (37075807)

Farndon 1sts, who are scheduled to host West Bridgfordians 2nds, will play an inter-squad friendly this weekend, subject to restrictions from the ECB.

“The excitement levels at Farndon are very high,” said Martyn Hill, of Farndon.

“The ground staff have been out preparing wickets, the captains have been taking availability for this weekend, and the committee are poised and ready to do whatever needs to be done to get some cricket back on.

“The juniors are excited too, as their coach I’m really looking forward to seeing them transfer their skills from the one-on-one sessions we’ve been doing since May in to a game situation.

“Particularly some of the younger ones that haven’t actually played a hard ball game yet.

“We’re just desperate to see the guidance now so that we can take the necessary steps to get the game on.”

PICTURED: Farndon’s Martyn Hill trains in the nets, and left, Balderton’s Sam Ross during last season’s league campaign.

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