YORKSHIRE’S new vice-chairman Neil Hartley is hoping participation levels in recreational cricket will increase post-coronavirus.

Hartley, a former county all-rounder with the White Rose club, was appointed to his new role at Emerald Headingley at the start of this month.

A John Player League winner with Yorkshire in 1983, Hartley now works full-time in sports insurance, but he is also a committee member at Bradford and Bingley Cricket Club.

The Shipley-born cricketer scored 7,526 runs and took 115 wickets playing first-class and one-day cricket between 1978 and 1989.

Prior to that, he made his first-team debut for Bradford and Bingley aged 16 and went on to captain them.

And Hartley does not hide away from the fact that the crisis will present local league clubs with some significant challenges.

However, he is determined to take a glass half full approach for now, especially with aid coming from the England and Wales Cricket Board, who have pledged just over £20m nationwide to help grassroots cricket deal with the financial impact of COVID-19.

“When we do get back out there, it might just show how much people miss it when it’s not been there for three months or whatever period we’re going to be out of action,” said Hartley.

“It might generate some more interest in the game.

“Recreational clubs will definitely be there and desperate to pull some sort of cricket together at both senior and junior level.

“Fielding three senior sides at Bradford and Bingley on a regular basis can be a challenge, so fingers crossed that’s how it works out and people become more engaged.

“Part of the problem is that the junior structure is generally front loaded in the summer, because a lot of junior cricket has to wind up in June and July to take into account family holidays.

“It will be interesting to see how it all pans out with junior cricket when the time comes to get out there again.”