THE Mewies Solicitors Craven League, in the light of increased Covid-19 infections in areas governed by Bradford Council and Pendle Borough Council, have decided to suspend matches for a fortnight.

"We are just putting cricket on the back foot until the infections die down, which they will and as they have done in Leicester," admitted Craven League secretary Peter Foster.

Foster issued a statement on behalf of the league this afternoon, which said: "Dear friends, the statement on Covid activity over the past 24 hours regarding Bradford and Pendle has once again thrown the league into a state of unrest.

"This morning (Friday) I have been in contact with both Bradford and Pendle authorities. While the situation in Pendle is pretty much the same, it’s still on a rising tide of infection, and the Bradford authority are advising that all car sharing be stopped unless for emergency purposes.

"They also advise staying indoors unless it’s unavoidable and travel only if necessary.

"This is on top of meeting friends and family in enclosed spaces being stopped.

"The Craven and District Cricket League has a duty of care to all its member clubs and players - it’s the leagues general directive to provide organised cricket in a safe, practical and enjoyable environment.

"With an ever-increasing risk of Covid infection coming from both ends of the league's extended reach, this is proving extremely difficult to the point of being impossible to implement.

"The league has already lost one of our own to this dreadful virus (Cowling player Mohammed Araf) - we can’t allow this to be repeated."

The statement continued: "It has to be said that the ECB. have not altered their stance on cricket in our region and indeed the Bradford League (and the Dales Council League) intend to carry on.

"To be clear, this statement is relevant to the CDCL and no other cricket league in the area.

"I believe the duty of care the executive committee of the Craven League hold, is, in my opinion, paramount and we should use our best judgement to act on it.

"The risk of having clubs and players from areas of high risk travelling to all our grounds in the league is too high to contemplate and, to that end, a proposition I put to the executive this morning was returned with a majority of 10-1 in favour of suspending the league with immediate effect for two weeks, followed by a review going forward before play recommences.

“A person unaware and not displaying symptoms can still infect those around him.

"I truly understand what this means to most of you. Please try and understand that this was done with your safety and that of your family and friends’ safety in mind.

"I would personally like to thank each and every one of you who have contributed to providing a safe environment at your club during this pandemic and hope we can still yet finish off the season. Time will tell.

"My very best regards to you all."