AS it stands, recreational cricket will not be allowed to go ahead again from July 4, like many had hoped.

But despite plenty of people putting pressure on the government to reverse this decision, one Bradford resident is very much against a return.

Here is his letter to the T&A:

Dear Editor,

Local cricket has been in decline for decades; a root cause of this is the governance of the recreational game, which still acts as if Fred Trueman were leading Yorkshire’s attack at Bradford Park Avenue.

The hopeless responses of local leagues to the pandemic demonstrate an absence of clear thought.

Your correspondent (26/6) wrote: “There is still hope that recreational cricket could still go ahead on or around July 4.”

Has he ever prepared a cricket ground? Worse still, the governing body’s (ECB) five stage plan clearly states no cricket is possible whilst social distancing remains.

You quote Bradford Premier League Chairman David Young: “We have always acknowledged that the health and safety of the cricket community has to be the number one objective.”

So why is he pushing to resume a game that cannot be played socially distant? Cricket is the very essence of a social sport.

Most cricket changing rooms are little more than over-sized wardrobes; cram eleven players with giant bags in and try social distancing then? But we can change outside!

And when it rains what then? Twenty-two piles of soaking gear, plus players, umpires and scorers seeking refuge where?

Certain leagues are talking of double weekends in August; how do you sanitise changing and toilet areas post-match given most players simply want to turn up and play before vanishing?

Remember too that August is a holiday month, when getting teams out for one game a weekend is hard enough.

And no saliva on the ball; well we can always trust players not to tamper with the ball, can’t we?

Of course the ECB PR Dept are making all the right noises, even if they contradict their stated guidance.

However, as with football, money is the only deal in town at the moment and the TV paymasters must be obeyed.

So we have sport back on Sky simply to avoid enormous rebates to (Rupert) Murdoch.

This gives airtime to rent-a-quote pundit Michael Vaughan, urging us grassroots cricketers to get out there, as he tries to do a (Marcus) Rashford.

Has he ever swept a dressing room, rolled a wicket or any of the other countless tasks we have to do each Saturday? How do we do these in isolation?

There is some talk of leagues organising short-sided games of cricket – maybe six or eight-a-side – though whoever came up with that idea must have been in the club bar all night.

Given the average age of most teams, we need more fielders not less! What of the clubhouse bars, traditionally the core source of club’s income but much less so these days as habits change?

Perhaps as this income becomes harder to generate, clubs may finally break the habit of paying stupid money to entice moderate players and revert back to the real spirit of cricket?

Those crying the poor tale at present have largely created their own problems.

I urge leagues to use this time to rethink the whole approach to the grassroots game.

Get heads together and work out how we might come back in 2021 with an offering that will go some way to securing the future of the game.

Now is not the time to sit there simply hoping the clouds will blow over and we will be back on soon.

Steve Wilson – 7 Lenton Villas, Idle, Bradford, BD10 8LT

(Footnote – the ECB roadmap can be found here -