The ECB has currently suspended all cricket in the country until July 1 while their new competition The Hundred has been pushed back until next year and several England matches postponed. The Yorkshire Premier League South, in which Barnsley, Elsecar and Cawthorne play, has scrapped the first half of the season.
Shaw Lane cricket chairman Phil Chapman said: “I don’t think there will be any cricket at all this year. I have lost a close friend to the coronavirus so I know how serious it is. No one is frustrated with the cricket authorities for the way they have responded, we’re just all frustrated with the way the world is at the moment.”
Captain Jason Booth added: “I am very sceptical of play taking place this year. It will be very difficult to put 12 to 15 guys in a changing room. People spit on a cricket ball and pass it through several pairs of hands every ball. Add to that, the average age of umpires is probably 60 plus and some are in their 70s. Sport will survive in some way, shape or form but, at the moment, the health situation puts cricket in perspective.”
Chapman has been looking at the financial implications of the lockdown on the cricket club. He said: “There is emergency funding available but, because everybody is applying for it, we have only got 45 per cent of what we applied for. We’re not being ungrateful, something is better than nothing and will help pay our bills. It will be a matter of getting fund-raising going when we are up and running again. We might have to dip into an interest-free loan that the ECB are offering.”
Booth, a former groundsman at Headingley, now works with governing bodies of various sports. He said: “The knock-on impact will be massive on the playing surfaces. “Shaw Lane has always been known for the quality of its facilities. We still have our groundsman Gary Nuttall working in isolation to keep the cricket pitch in good shape.”