Cheshire cricket chiefs scrap promotion and relegation in 2020

Mike Parsonsin Cricket

Cricket chiefs have decided there will be no promotion or relegation this season - when or if the new campaign gets underway.

Both the UK Fast Cheshire League and Vivio Cheshire County League have confirmed this position, while also outlining that this month's scheduled start to the 2020 term is suspended until safe to consider starting - in line with Government regulations surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and current UK lockdown.

This suspension applies to all levels and ages of recreational cricket.

In addition, all games in the Cheshire Cricket Board-sponsored Cheshire Cup and Shield knockouts - due to have commenced in early May - have been suspended.

Selwyn Stephenson, chairman of the Cheshire League, said: "The ECB statement, following the latest Government advice around social distancing, that all forms of recreational cricket and any associated cricket activity should be suspended is indeed a sad event."

"We must agree, it is in the best interest of all our cricket family, based on the situation we are all now having to face over the coming weeks and months.

"Whilst no indication of any future possible start date to the season can be given, regular updates will be sent and appear on the website in conjunction with advice from the Government and directives from the ECB."

"If cricket does start, then we will obviously have truncated competitions in whatever form they might take given the time left in the season."

"We understand that clubs will be impacted by the current crisis in many different ways and also recognise that any truncated competition may be further impacted by weather. Consequently, because of this uncertainty, there will be no promotion or relegation in the 2020 season. The only exception to this will be if we lose a team or a new team wants to join."

"Defining our thinking this early allows both the league and its member clubs to manage the many elements impacting players and officials, particularly those at highest risk, without having to be concerned about playing performance."

He added: "It is important that we do our utmost to keep all our clubs alive, and our grounds are not allowed to deteriorate."

"The Cheshire Groundsman's Association have been asked to keep an eye out for possible situations where elderly groundsmen cannot carry out their usual duties due to the current crisis, and to offer assistance, wherever possible, to keep the playing areas up to standard even if we are not actually playing on them."

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