Extract from The Forty Club Newsletter June 2020
Reproduced with permission of Howard Smith – Kent over 60s Captain
Kent over 60s have been preparing themselves for a resumption of cricket. Howard Smith, their intrepid leader, felt the need to set out Instructions for his players.
Players will arrive alone in their cars at 10.00am for a 1.00pm start and arrive fully changed.
• The players will assemble as a team in front of the Clubhouse in a circle, adhering to social distancing. The opposition will do the same. Scorers will distance themselves from these groups.
• The Umpires, wearing sanitised gloves, will call the Captains forward. Both Captains wearing sanitised gloves will proceed to the middle for a toss. At the wicket observing social distancing the four will see two white lines, one either side of the wicket to signify that the batsman must run outside these lines.
• The Home Umpire will use a sanitised coin and invite the visiting Captain to call.
• If the visiting Captain wins the toss and decides to bat both Captains will wish each other all the best. The Home Umpire will return the sanitized coin to his pocket and ask the visiting Umpire which end he would like. I’ve always been a bit worried about that request.
• Dressing rooms are OOB except to allow one player at a time to don protective equipment and pads.
• Men’s toilets are open on a one in one out arrangement. Instructions to remain 6 ft apart do not require men to stand 6 feet from the urinal and try and reach from an impossible distance.
• Ladies toilets will remain closed so I suggest you bring a wide necked bottle.
• The Home side will take the field all wearing sanitized gloves except the keeper who will wear traditional gloves duly sanitized.
• The Home Umpire will provide a sanitised orange Reader ball and toss it to the bowler, who will remove the glove from his bowling hand and proceed to his mark.
• The Umpire will not carry the bowlers jumper or hat so whatever the weather it will be best to leave these items in your kit bag.
• The non-striker will stand away whilst the Umpire gives his partner a guard.
• The Umpire will then stand 6 yds back from the stumps so as not to be near the bowler when he gets to the crease.
• Being 28 yds from the batsman may challenge the umpire when deciding an LBW appeal. He may have doubts, think it going down the leg-side, be unsure if the batsman hit it or maybe give a decision based on guesswork. This scenario hasn't changed as a consequence of the virus.
• At the end of the over the ball shall be returned to the umpire and the bowler will leave the field to replace his sanitised glove. A suitably protected sub fielder is allowed during this time.
• The wicket-keeper will stand 6 ft back which will make a stumping difficult but this shouldn't affect the Kent keeper's performance. He will also wear a sanitised protector which may make his eyes water but again this shouldn't make any difference to our keeper.
• First slip will stand at third slip, second slip at gully, gully at deep point. There will be no square leg.
• Only one fielder will be allowed to chase the ball at any one time.
• Fielding with the boot is allowed provided boots have been sanitised before going onto the field.
• In the unlikely event of one of our bowlers taking a wicket there will be no ludicrous high fives or back slapping, just ‘well bowled Charlie', or ‘see what happens when you bowl it straight Keith’.
• The use of saliva on the ball is not allowed. Sweat is also banned but the chances of our bowlers working up a sweat is unlikely.
• At the end of the over, the bowler's umpire will move to square leg and sanitize his counter.
• After 10 overs the scorers, social distancing the other side of the ground, will shout ’10 overs’. The batsmen and fielding side will leave the field to replace their batting gloves, fielding gloves and wicket-keeping gloves. This will be repeated every 10 overs in a 40 over game.
• The scorers will also sanitise their equipment after every 10 overs.
• In the event of rain all players will return to their cars. The scorers will get soaking wet as they are miles from anywhere and the umpires will be like coiled springs watching the weather from their cars. When play is possible, players will take the field wearing sanitised gloves. Play will continue for 40 overs with breaks after 10 overs.
• In the event of an opposition batsman scoring a 50 or 100 which is likely when we bowl, do not shake their hands or slap them on the back: ‘lucky bastard’ should be used instead.
• Each player must bring his own tea. The tea interval, between the innings, will be 45 mins. with everyone socially distancing. The Kent players will be segregated into Players and Gentlemen. Players will eat their cheese sandwiches and water. The Gentlemen will not be allowed to have their servant serve them tea, and are permitted a three course meal with wine.
• After tea the umpires will call ‘Time’: the opposition will take the field with sanitised gloves and boots.
• At the close of the second innings stumps, bails, and 30 yd discs are left for the groundsman to collect. Both teams form a line facing one another 6 ft apart and give each other the clap they richly deserve along with ‘well played’, ‘good game’, ‘lucky bastards’.
• By now it will be 10.00 pm. The bar is shut, showers may not be used. The intrepid perspiring players, and the officials, must get into their cars and drive home vowing to return again next week as it had been so much fun.