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Cricket still urges caution against teams gathering to train

BCB president Arnold Manders (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Bermuda Cricket Board has made a fresh appeal to clubs to cease preseason training for health reasons until the Government’s Phase 3 of reopening comes into effect next month.

“The BCB executive request that club teams do not train until Phase 3 [approximately June 6],” read a BCB statement in a letter sent to the clubs.

“The BCB are aiming to play our part by reducing the risk of community spreading of the Covid-19 virus due to the mixing of households.”

The BCB initially ordered clubs to cease preseason training as a precaution against the rising spike in Covid-19 cases on April 10.

This latest instruction arrives four days after the Government’s announcement that sport will be able to return to team training which proved significant for sports such as cricket.

The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport announced last Sunday that as Bermuda enters Phase 2 of reopening, in the wake of the Stay at Home Order, sport will be permitted at Stage 2 of the Return to Play Guidance, effective immediately.

Stage 2 allows for team training within the requirements permitted by the Emergency Regulations:

• Groups of ten

• No contact

• Six feet between participants

• Masks except during physical exertion

• Thirty minutes between groups to allow for cleaning

• No spectators

While Stage 2 activities are permitted, the ministry is reminding athletes and their families that household mixing raises the risk of Covid-19 spread, is generally discouraged, and should be kept to a minimum while Bermuda continues to have community transmission.

The ministry also reminded that sporting groups are not a bubble, and all precautions should be practised, including during Stage 2 activities.

“We note that there is guidance that ten persons or more can train but the mixing of households is still not recommended,” the BCB letter added.

“If there are any changes prior to June 6, we will advise accordingly.

“If there are any queries, please e-mail us at info@cricket.bm.”

Last season saw only the Twenty20 tournament played after a delayed start to the campaign.

Now the global coronavirus pandemic threatens to delay the start of the domestic season for a second year, with Arnold Manders, the BCB president, hopeful that it will commence by the end of next month once Covid-19 restrictions are eased sufficiently.

“We should be able to start before the end of June, then we’ll just have to revise our schedule,” he told The Royal Gazette in a recent interview. “We just have to play it all by ear, just like Covid-19.”

The Eastern Counties and Cup Match, which were both cancelled last summer, are scheduled to make a return this year.

However, Bermuda’s ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in Canada in July has been postponed because of Covid-19 with new dates and a venue to be confirmed.

The senior national team are also set to compete in the second round of the World Cup Challenge League B in Jersey from September 1 to 14 and Bermuda Under-19 in the World Cup Americas Qualifier in the United States from August 18 to 25.

At last check, Manders said the latter two tournaments are still scheduled to go ahead as originally planned.

“Those two tournaments are still on the table,” he added. “Nothing is going on in Canada [ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier].

“Canada’s borders are closed and all their teams are competing outside of Canada, like the Canadian football team playing down in Florida.

“We’re just waiting on ICC to see what’s happening in terms of a new date and venue. It’s good for us, as it gives us more time to prepare.”

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Published May 13, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated May 12, 2021 at 6:44 pm)

Cricket still urges caution against teams gathering to train

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