In early March this year as the weather started to improve, like many others I was looking forward to the impending cricket season. A little later in March as lockdown started and restrictions implemented, I thought I would see no cricket this season.
As restrictions eased and confirmed Covid-19 cases dropped, the ECB announced that from July 11th, recreational cricket could begin, complete with spectators. This was a very welcome initiative for all cricket fans, players, volunteers and officials around England. It felt like a step in the right direction and towards a normality we have been longing for since March.
An avid cricket fan, I immediately took the opportunity to witness some live sport on the 11th and headed to my nearest club Fulwood and Broughton for an inter-club friendly. It felt mostly 'normal', despite breaks every six overs for the application of hand sanitising gel, clubhouse/ toilet restrictions and socially distanced supporting. You were also not permitted to touch the ball, should it come near you after a boundary. None of this especially mattered as it was great to be back watching sport, whatever the circumstances.
I have since watched two more club level games. With the long overdue announcement that bowling alleys will be able to open from August 1st, hopefully it won't be long until the return of grassroots football.