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Touch and Go: A Return to Cricket in a socially distanced 'safe' environment

©Patrick Latham & Wesley Durston

We fully recognise and respect the potential dangers associated with returning to sport, sharing equipment and participating in team sports under the ongoing COVID-19 situation. At the same time, it is impossible to avoid the huge call for some safe and controlled return to cricket from children and adults alike.

We at A Leading Edge have been considering this for some time and are keen to share our thoughts on an idea for a safe return to cricket, in some form, when the Government deem it safe so to do. We very much hope that this is sooner rather than later, particularly for the recreational game. With that in mind, we have created a form of cricket which can be played by children or adults and respects and is sensitive to the sharing of space and equipment.

Whilst the game we have created is in the early stages of development, with the very basic rules in place, we hope that this is received in the spirit which it is meant. We are looking for a way to get cricket back on with our children and friends out there playing the game. We fully accept and look forward to the critiques and questions that will come. We will address the questions and attempt to fill the holes that are picked in it. The game we have created is not for everyone, and some will turn away from it which we understand. We hope that those who take the time to look at it and consider it will see some of the aspects of the game that we have tried to hide under the skin.

Whilst the game is predominantly aimed at children, we see this being played by adults too. We have tried to match the safe numbers of basketball, and adjusting the rules to allow only three fielders to cover their zones effectively. By creating a limiting boundary, we hope that batters will be able to work on skills that will compliment the big and powerful hitting of the normal game when that returns. We hope this is an opportunity for players to work on placement, weighting and strategy, whilst the bowlers can concentrate on accuracy and finding out where and how to bowl to make life harder for the batters. Fielders, with a much larger area to cover will need to be involved every ball, and improve accuracy in throwing and judgement. We have tried hard to keep all players safe whilst designing the game. In not knowing the full reasons (other than the obvious) why cricket is not allowed to return, we may have overlooked something. It may be that the sole reason is the ball and, as Boris Johnson describes it, 'A Vector of Disease' is the prohibiting factor. Sadly, no amount of designing a game will overcome a problem with the main object, if we want to keep the ball a constant. Obviously for juniors a wind ball or Incrediball could be substituted and whilst this may allow cricket to be played, ultimately will not help with the main aims of the game.

We welcome your questions, and will endeavour to answer them as honestly and openly as we can. We look forward to your critiques and problem finding which will allow us as a community to develop a game which we hope will allow some return to a form of cricket.

©Cricket World 2020

 

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