Reports on cricket matches sometimes, more often than not, contain the line ‘rain stops play.’ We never ever thought it would one day be replaced by the term ‘virus stops play’ as the nightmare scenario that is currently unfolding all over the UK and the rest of the world, due to the ‘invisible killer’ that is Coronavirus (Covid-19), plays havoc with life on earth.
The spread of the virus is making our world and the way in which we live unrecognisable from anything that has gone before. And all we can hope is that we eventually emerge from this crisis and learn some important lessons along the way.
Keswick Cricket Club, in line with recommendations from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and UK Government, has suspended all forms of recreational cricket and practice until further notice because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Similarly, the leagues in which the club plays, the Cumbria Cricket League (CCL) Premier Division in the case of the 1st XI and the Eden Valley Cricket League (EVCL) for the club’s 2nd and 3rd XIs, are also out of action.
The club’s three junior teams, at Under 11, 13 and 15 age levels will not have any games under the auspices of the Cumbria Junior Cricket League. The same applies for any cricket played by the KCC Women’s squad and the Under 19 T/20 side.
Many representative games, staged at KCC’s award winning Fitz Park ground, are also affected together with all Keswick School cricket matches that KCC is glad to provide ground and facilities for each summer.
In addition the club’s coaching sessions for younger players under the age of 11, including “All Stars” and the ECB’s latest initiative, ‘The Dynamos”, are grounded.
No one can practice in the club nets but once the all-clear is eventually given (hopefully sooner rather than later) the club will take advantage of a generous donation made by Keswick Lions of £1,170, meeting the cost of providing new canvas safety surrounds for the astro turf nets area adjacent to the pavilion and the play area in Lower Fitz.
The new canvas will be put in place once the relevant authorities give the all clear. KCC is confident that it is well placed to restart playing cricket as soon as the go ahead is given.
Because it is unlikely that there will be any meaningful league cricket played this summer – although there remains the outside possibility of some cricket in late July, August and September – the club felt it had no option but to rescind the contract with its Sri Lankan professional, Geeth Kumara who was due to return to Keswick in mid April for what would have been his ninth consecutive season at the club.
There is now a proposal for the contract with Geeth to be renewed for the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, away from the field of play, the coronavirus pandemic has also put paid, certainly at this stage, to ambitious plans that the club was putting in place with the Rotary Club of Keswick, to make KCC and Fitz Park an even more attractive and popular weekend venue, at the heart of the local community.
However, it is hoped that the club’s annual fund-raiser at Theatre by the Lake in October may have more success in being staged. KCC theatre event organiser Mike Ryder is certainly hoping so and that the annual musical tribute act can attract yet another sell-out crowd.
The cricket club will not be publishing its annual edition of the popular and very well supported KCC magazine. This has been put on hold until 2021.
It is important, during the period of the pandemic, that the inner square and outfield at Keswick Cricket Club are properly maintained and to this end two members of the small but perfectly formed ground staff at KCC will periodically be working on the ground – while observing social distancing of course – to ensure that once a degree of normality has returned, the cricket club will be ready and able to get underway.
Keswick Cricket Club thanks all its supporters and, in particular, four organisations who have given generously to the club in recent weeks, these being principal sponsor, Lake District Hotels, Howdens, Friars of Keswick and Keswick Lions.
I normally end these reports with the words ‘enjoy your cricket’. Unfortunately that is not really an option at present so all I will say is ‘Stay Safe’ and we’ll see you at KCC when this is all over… as one day it surely will.
Sponsored by Lake District Hotels.