DROITWICH will take a step into the unknown when they launch their Worcestershire League Regional Cup Competition (Premier and Division One) campaign at Cookley this weekend.
Spa play their opening Group D encounter as the league’s inaugural competition gets under way in what is a radically reduced season due to the pandemic.
The shortened league season will consist of a 40-over competition with teams pooled in local groups of six with the winners qualifying for a semi-final and final.
Spa’s first, second and third teams will be guaranteed ten matches but the fourth team will play only five fixtures in this format.
In light of ongoing COVID-19 precautions, there will be a number of differences on and off the pitch for players to adhere to.
Bowlers will not be allowed to apply sweat or saliva to the ball, which will be cleaned at all breaks in play and every six overs, whilst batsmen will have to run in marked lanes to ensure they are two metres away from the bowler.
Changing rooms will not be used unless Government advice permits and players will have to bring their own refreshments as traditional cricket teas will not be provided by the home team, which will also be responsible for taking a record of all those in attendance for possible track and trace purposes.
“The recent announcement by Boris Johnson appeared to rule out any grassroots cricket this summer so his complete U-turn later that day took us completely by surprise,” said Droitwich CC chairman Martyn Davies.
“We’ve been holding net sessions in small groups which have been well attended, albeit with social distancing rules in place.
“However it’s not the same as a proper match so, although there are restrictions in place, everyone is now really up for getting the season under way and all will be made aware of the guidance that will apply.”
He added: “Our groundstaff have done a great job in maintaining our two pitches in case we got the green light for cricket to resume.”