FURTHER information about the potential return of recreational cricket in England is expected in the next few days.

Following the prime minister’s address on Sunday, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) made the following statement on Tuesday:

“We are aware that the UK government has announced changes that affect sport and physical activity in England, which are due to come into effect on Wednesday, May 13.

“We are expecting to receive further clarity from the UK government in the coming days and in turn we will share greater detail and guidelines with the game as soon as we are able.

“Our priority is to support our colleagues and clubs across the game to deliver elements of outdoor cricket in a responsible way that does not compromise safety.

“We completely understand the level of patience that recreational players have had to demonstrate so far, and know that most will be desperate to return to the nets to practice.

“We ask for a little more time to plan out the best way to deliver this opportunity to everyone as safely as possible.

“The health and wellbeing of everyone in cricket remains our number one priority.

“We will share further updates towards the end of the week along with a support plan for our clubs to follow.”

The same day saw the Somerset Cricket Board release a statement along similar lines.

It said: “We have received enquiries from many clubs about the possibility of opening their nets for use by households.

“We share the excitement of the cricket community about this being a possibility in the near future.

“The ECB are seeking further clarity from the government prior to communicating with the network about what may or may not be allowed to happen in light of the latest government announcement.

“We will, of course, communicate with the Somerset network just as soon as we have an update from the ECB.

“In the meantime the ECB has reiterated that all forms of recreational cricket are currently suspended, including nets, and we ask all of our clubs to continue to respect this as you have all done so far.”

Steve Nelson, chairman of Taunton Deane Cricket Club, reminded “all club members that the cricket club and facilities remain closed to all members”.

“All cricket activity including club training, socials and committee meetings remain postponed until further notice,” he added.

“Once we have received further guidance from the ECB we will communicate this as soon as possible.

“While the playing surfaces have been maintained to a certain extent, the cancellation of the cricket force weekend and spring flooding mean that the practice facilities and nets have not be prepared and are not in any condition for use.

“Before any cricket, training or practice can take place it is likely that a volunteer task force will be required to assist in the preparation of the practice facilities and the club will be requesting help from its members when required.

“It is likely that social distancing measures will be in place for some time and therefore likely that a booking system will be required in order to use the facilities safely; this will be accompanied by a small charge to cover the preparation and administration of the facilities.

“Use of these facilities will be limited to paid-up club members only with an active membership for the 2020 season, so please read the new club policies and ensure your £1 membership fee has been paid via the website as soon as possible.

“The club and the facilities remain closed to all members at this time and a further update will be issued in due course once we have received guidance from the ECB.”