‘Counties must plan for no cricket’ : The damning reality of the 2020 season
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
With most other major sporting events cancelled, is it inevitable that the cricket season will be cancelled too?
The date is the second of April and in the next two weeks the sensational season of cricket would have been beginning. Now, there will be no cricket, bar repeats and replays, until at least the 28th May. As most major sporting events up until June have now been postponed or cancelled, the ECB has a big decision to make over the coming weeks and months.What to do about cricket and COVID-19? The discussion has already begun.
This morning, Sussex chief executive Rob Andrews spoke to the BBC and said that "The reality is that we have to think about - it's hard to imagine this - the possibility that there may not be any cricket this summer,". This is quite a statement. Yes, he also said that
it was a ‘worst case scenario’ and that it is ‘hard to imagine‘ a summer with no cricket but the fact is he has mentioned a stark and bleak reality.
Above, Rob Andrew, Surrey chief executive
The truth is that with no cricket this summer, the financial hit on the game will be colossal.Surrey along with many other counties will have to think of how they will sustain their clubs if there is no game over summer.
One possibility is that some games are played behind closed doors when safe to do so. Eoin Morgan said yesterday that cricket behind closed doors could be a ‘huge step forward’. He also furthered this by saying that “Sport could play a huge role in uplifting the world and people’s perspective on things,”. He is not wrong on that.
Cricket Can Help - World cup winning captain Eoin Morgan
Playing behind closed doors would still bring in revenue as it would fulfil broadcasting contracts and allow greater awareness for the game in general. However it would not solve the void of money left by having no spectators.
Another possibility which is being widely considered is the cancellation of the hundred until 2021 and the prioritisation of the vitality blast. This seems like a sensible move if any cricket can be played, as the blast is one of the most popular County Competitions and therefore makes a lot of money. Plus, The Hundred relies on international players and this cannot happen if travel bans are still in force in some places of the world at the time of the launch of the hundred.
Both these possibilities seem feasible but if the pandemic worsens then Andrews’ warning is vital. The ECB must now seriously consider the possibility of NO cricket being played in the summer of 2020. If this happens how will the counties and the game further be supported by the ECB? And what will happen to all those people who’s jobs rely on the completion of matches and games?
It was fun whilst it lasted - If the season is cancelled there will be no more classic memories made in 2020
No one knows what is going to happen next or the answer to any of these questions. But, the sad truth is every day that goes by when the UK is in lockdown is another step closer towards the cancellation of the cricketing season.