THE England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has followed the example of the Rugby Football Union, in introducing a 'roadmap' for the return of the grassroots game in England.

The ECB has identified five steps towards the return of recreational cricket, with England currently at Step 3 of the process.

Step 4 involves 'adapted gameplay' - cricket matches (both adult and junior) adjusted to remain socially distanced.

The features of this step are: shorter formats (to allow more matches to take place); all ground maintenance; outdoor facility usage; restricted use of hospitality in line with government guidelines; and indoor facility usage in line with government guidelines.

Step 5 will bring 'unrestricted' gameplay, with full facility usage and all formats, leagues and competitions available.

In order for Step 5 to be reached, social distancing measures would need to be removed.

The dates for the implementation of both Step 4 and Step 5 are yet to be confirmed.

The ECB statement says: "We have identified five steps for the recreational game’s proposed phased return in England this summer.

"England is currently in step 3 - which allows for small group training sessions of up to six people while respecting social distancing.

"As cricket is a non-contact sport that involves individual disciplines within a team environment, forms of the game can be played while respecting social distancing.

"We will continue to be led by UK government advice and will only move into Step 4 when the guidance allows and when it is medically safe to do so."

For the full infographic around the return of recreational cricket, and related FAQs, you can visit the website here.

The photo used on the ECB website was taken at Bagborough Cricket Club just a few weeks ago, showing the Somerset club's new batting cage being put to good use with the relaxation of practice rules and nice weather.

The batsman in the picture is 19-year-old Henry Stirzaker.