London, July 3 : The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Friday that the United Kingdom government has given the green light for resumption of recreational cricket in the country from next weekend. The ECB further said that it will shortly be publishing its own guidelines for the clubs and players to follow.
The ECB had earlier tweeted that it had "positive discussions" with British Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden about the return of recreational cricket, with groups of more than six able to gather.
"We are delighted that the UK Government have given their permission for recreational cricket to return from next weekend. We will shortly be publishing our approved guidelines to help clubs and players prepare for cricket's return," tweeted the ECB.
The development is a significant reversal in what was the situation otherwise with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterating that recreational cricket cannot be allowed to return due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
"You made the same point about hairdressers and nail bars and it's a valid point," Johnson told LBC's Nick Ferrari as per ESPNcricinfo. "There are reasons. You sound like Socrates there. These debates have gone round and round. There are various other considerations.
"The long answer, which I think probably Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer) would give if he were here about cricket, the risk is not so much the ball though that may be a factor, it's the teas, the changing rooms and so on and so forth.
"There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis. You've taken me into a rabbit hole of detail when really what people understand is that this is a battle against a pandemic which we have fought so far with the use of social distancing measures and we are very largely winning," he said.