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Eating away over the winter

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Re: Season 2020
dingy bags 24 June, 2020 14:22
Two day friendly at the gasworks 26 & 27 July. Red ball and behind closed doors

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 28 June, 2020 00:13
Jonathan Winsky on 18th June
An article in the Daily Mail suggests that yet another obstacle in the way of four-day county matches being possible in 2020 is that fast bowlers may not have had the 8-12 weeks recommended by ICC to prepare for matches as a result of being on furlough, and may have lost a degree of fitness due to gyms being closed. As only 3 weeks of preparation is recommended for 50-over matches, the chances of 50-over matches being played instead of four-day matches has increased. However, Middlesex president Mike Selvey has written on Twitter that the club have no objection to the possibility of our players starting a series of four-day matches with around 4 weeks of preparation

In the Mail on Sunday, it is reported that it is feared that players could take legal action on the grounds of medical negligence if they suffer a career-threatening stress fracture as a consequence of playing four-day cricket without the recommended preparation time, so this is yet another blow for those hopeful that some four-day county cricket could be played in 2020.

The article also says that ECB have yet to give approval to Middlesex’s scheduled friendly away to Surrey or to a similar match between Lancashire and Yorkshire, although it would be a surprise if this approval does not come at some point, unless the chances of some county cricket being possible are not as real as many of us hope it is.

Re: Season 2020
BeefyRoberts 29 June, 2020 16:14
White smoke from chimney on pavilion at Lords, all clear to start season on August 1st.
Fixtures early July.
Behind closed doors?
All this, and more to be announced.

Great news folks, wonderful news.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 29 June, 2020 19:53
I assumed that any announcement about the possibility of county cricket being played in 2020 would not take place until a meeting which will apparently take place on 6th July, so it is a pleasant surprise that an announcement with good news was made today. Hopefully the meeting on or around 6th July will be accompanied with news about what the structure will be, with hopefully the fixturelist also being published at either the same time or shortly after.

Last week, Worcestershire batsman and PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell estimated that 14 counties (which I think includes Middlesex) would prefer the format which is played in addition to Twenty20 to be four-day matches, with the 4 other counties preferring 50-over matches. However, today has seen Gloucestershire chief executive Will Brown speak about being hopeful that all three formats could be played.

The latest Daily Mail article about the possibility of there being four-day matches says that if this format is played, then substitutes will be allowed in the event of it being suspected that a player has Covid-19 mid-match, while it is possible that substitutes may also be allowed if a bowler gets injured mid-match, although matches would lose their first-class status in the event of a substitution being made for any reason other than Covid-19, concussion or (to maintain the alliteration) commitments to England.

Jonathan Winsky on 18th June
On the members’ portal on Middlesex’s official website, Mike O’Farrell suggests that if we are able to play any matches this season, we may stage some at outgrounds such as Radlett or Merchant Taylors’ School due to uncertainty about the availability of Lord’s. I feel surprised at this, as I would have thought that Lord’s would be deemed safer than outgrounds to stage matches while adhering to any government guidelines in place, while the fact that England are not currently scheduled to play any matches at Lord's and that some other traditional matches (e.g. Eton v Harrow, the Varsity match and the final of the Village Cup if that competition does not start) may not take place at Lord's in 2020 would reduce the demand on pitches. Glamorgan have announced that they would stage all home matches in 2020 at Sophia Gardens, although admittedly that seems to be due to financial reasons rather than doubts about outgrounds’ ability to host matches. Then again, the fact that Middlesex don’t own Lord’s and that it is standard for us to host several matches each season at outgrounds means that I should hardly be surprised that we may not be able to play all home matches at Lord’s in 2020

Speaking to the Hampstead & Highgate Express, Richard Goatley confirms that he expects us to play many of any home matches we play at Radlett, with it being uncertain how many if any we could play at Lord’s, although he is hopeful that supporters would be allowed to attend. If supporters are not allowed to attend county cricket, albeit perhaps will capacities capped, then I am certain that many people would be up in arms considering that there are plenty of places which are either now open or which will soon reopen where social distancing is harder to perform - and where there is more risk of contracting coronavirus - compared to at a sparsely-filled outdoors county cricket ground.

Re: Season 2020
New Boy 2 30 June, 2020 14:29
Do Government guidelines allow ball games to be played in pub gardens from 4th July?

If so, open the Radlett Pavilion bar to the public, entry strictly on production of a Middlesex County Cricket Club membership card, with drinks to be delivered to your seat in the garden.

Please be aware there might be a load of blokes playing cricket in the middle of the pub garden: we've marked out the area they will be using with a white rope... (Sm100)

Re: Season 2020
BeefyRoberts 03 July, 2020 18:10
After today's announcement, will there be any club cricket this year?
Will there be any county/t20/50 over this year (first class) that we will be able to attend?

Things are not looking good for either of the above sadly.

Hope I'm wrong, of course, and will happily stand corrected at any time.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 03 July, 2020 19:32
Hours after saying that recreational cricket was not permitted to start due to the risks which balls, teas and changing rooms apparently pose, Boris Johnson announced that recreational cricket can start next weekend. Therefore, the start of county cricket is set to end up having not taken place until international and recreational cricket had both already done so.

If there is good weather, then I can see these recreational matches drawing crowds, especially as, for the time being, people are not allowed to attend professional sport. This sounds like great news for clubs hopeful of generating much-needed income from the bar and (at clubs which charge for admission, which I think happens in the leagues in Lancashire and Yorkshire) gate, although if too many people attend, then I am not sure what would happen.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 06 July, 2020 20:31
I was hopeful that today would be the day when it would be announced which formats would be played by the counties in 2020, but it seems that we will find out tomorrow. An article on Cricinfo written by George Dobell says that the decision on whether to favour four-day cricket or 50-over cricket is likely to be based on what is preferred by the majority of the counties, with Middlesex being listed amongst the 12 “Counties thought to favour a first-class competition”.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 07 July, 2020 21:04
It seems like, as anticipated, the counties will have the opportunity to play four-day and Twenty20 cricket, but not 50-over matches. George Dobell’s article on Cricinfo about this news says that the vote went around 11-7 in favour of the structure settled upon, that the T20 Blast is set to run between 27th August and 26th September, and that counties may be allowed to opt-out of playing four-day matches if - as appears to be the case with Hampshire - they have safety concerns.

Whether spectators will be permitted at any point is a question for the government, although there is some hope amongst the counties. However, the ECB press release which Middlesex have posted on their official website omits to mention spectators when saying that “The safety and wellbeing of all players, staff and officials remains the priority of the ECB”, and instead braces everyone for the possibility of matches being played either behind closed doors or with attendance restricted when adding “Ticket holders for men's domestic matches and FCC [first-class county] members are set to be contacted by venues with the options available to them after a new fixture schedule is announced”. That is pertinent to me, as I have a ticket for Middlesex’s Twenty20 match v Surrey at The Oval, so I am doubtful whether I would be allowed to attend in the event of a restricted attendance being permitted as I am not a Surrey member, which would be a charming reward for all the hard work I do for the good people of the Tooting catchment area! Oh well, I understand!

I still fail to see any reason why Middlesex cannot play most of their home matches at Lord’s. If the fixturelist - which will hopefully be released in the next couple of days - ends up showing that many of our home matches will be at outgrounds, then it would be interesting to find out the reason why. As the AGM, the club said that a virtual members’ forum would be held before the season starts, although nothing has been announced since.

Lancashire, Hampshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire have more obvious reasons why they have to stage matches at outgrounds, due to many of England Men’s matches being due to be at Old Trafford and the Rose Bowl, many of England Women’s matches being due to be at Derby, and the city of Leicester currently being subject to stricter measures compared to the rest of England.

Re: Season 2020
BeefyRoberts 08 July, 2020 09:27
I suppose we can just wait and see regarding attending any games this year, although, as JW said, there was a paragraph on the club website about tickets.
I would imagine it would be one per member, with number on ticket to be able to trace if needs be.
Or, on the other side of the coin, members could get multiple tickets, as long as providing membership numbers to club for the ticket allocation.
But, obviously until all the counties have decided fixtures, grounds, refreshments etc, nothing will be released.
It cant be easy for Middlesex staff to arrange it all, with all restrictions etc that are involved.
Whatever we get offered, we should be grateful if we get to see any games this year.

Re: Season 2020
dnb 08 July, 2020 20:38
Below is taken from an article in the Telegraph regarding county cricket this season:

“Counties are making the case that cricket is uniquely suited to ­allowing some crowds in and could act as a test case for spectators ­being reintroduced for live sport. It is hoped that there could be some limited crowds permitted for some first-class matches next month and then for the T20 Blast campaign.

Counties also have plans to improve their live-streaming of games to enable fans who cannot attend to watch matches online.“

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 09 July, 2020 22:26
Jonathan Winsky
If there is good weather, then I can see these recreational matches drawing crowds, especially as, for the time being, people are not allowed to attend professional sport. This sounds like great news for clubs hopeful of generating much-needed income from the bar and (at clubs which charge for admission, which I think happens in the leagues in Lancashire and Yorkshire) gate, although if too many people attend, then I am not sure what would happen

Spectators are mentioned in a detailed document about the guidelines for resuming recreational cricket, with the most eye-catching result of searching for the word ‘spectator’ being that they should not make contact with the ball in the event of a boundary being scored, and the most eye-catching result of searching for the word ‘participant’ being that they should return to their vehicle if it rains, that their hands should regularly be cleaned, and that they should give their contact details in order to support NHS Test and Trace. The document also says more obvious things, such as that the rules for being allowed to attend matches in any capacity are the same for being allowed to perform all other activities during the pandemic, and that spectators should endeavour to maintain social distancing. I am not sure how much the rules about being a participant applies to people who are just at matches to spectate, but I read somewhere that it might. If spectators, players, coaches or officials are expected to shelter in their vehicles during a rain stoppage, then that begs the question what those who arrived on foot or by public transport are expected to do. Unless a ground can only be accessed by a private gate and is not simply situated within a public park, then I can’t see how the details of all spectators can be recorded.

”Counties also have plans to improve their live-streaming of games to enable fans who cannot attend to watch matches online”

Middlesex yesterday wrote on Twitter “we are looking to broadcast an enhanced live stream of all games, which will see the 2 static cameras behind the bowlers arm replaced with 2 manned ‘Sky broadcast style’ cameras that will track the ball from crease to boundary, picking up all the action wherever it happens”.

Hopefully, news today that cases of coronavirus in England are falling will hasten the point when the consensus says it is safe enough for people to attend sport.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 10 July, 2020 19:21
It is great to hear that all 18 first-class counties now seem to have no objections to the structure agreed, although anyone hopeful of the fixturelist being released this week will be disappointed to read that it is set to “be announced later this month”.

I suppose that the fact that there is no imminent possibility of spectators being admitted to professional sport (something reinforced by the language used or not used in the aforementioned article today posted on Middlesex’s official website) makes ECB feel less urgency to release the fixturelist.

It has been confirmed that the four-day competition will be named the Bob Willis Trophy.

After I felt that yesterday's announcement that cases of coronavirus in England are falling boosts the chances of spectators once again being allowed, it is setback to today hear that the r number in England may be now close to 1.0. Every time I have heard about this number over the last couple of months, it has constantly seemed to be between 0.5 and 0.9, so I was really hopeful that it would be lower than that rather than higher the next time I heard about the number.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 13 July, 2020 19:34
As I feared would be the case, Surrey seem to have ruled out the possibility of them hosting a Twenty20 match v Middlesex in 2020 in which everyone who had purchased a ticket for the original date of Thursday 28th May will be allowed to attend, as they today sent me an email informing me how to obtain a refund.

Two things I have previously written were that I was hopeful that I could get a free ticket for the corresponding fixture in 2021 instead of a refund, and that I anticipated that if Surrey are able to play any Twenty20 matches in 2020, then priority for tickets would go to Surrey members. With regards to the first point, today’s email says “tickets are not transferable from 2020 Vitality Blast fixtures to 2021 Vitality Blast fixtures”. With regards to the second point, today’s email says “If the UK government and ECB advise that re-scheduled Vitality Blast matches can be played in front of a crowd, then 2020 Members of Surrey County Cricket Club will receive priority access to such fixtures”.

The email said that Surrey had sent me an earlier email on this subject, but I have no recollection of receiving such a message, and I cannot find such a message in my emails.

Hampshire are set to play all of their Bob Willis Trophy matches away from home, as ECB have taken control of the Rose Bowl due to a high proportion of England Men’s internationals taking place there this season and also because outgrounds such as Newport (Isle of Wight) and Basingstoke appear to be unsuitable to stage matches while protocols exist for staging matches throughout the coronavirus pandemic. We will have to see whether any other counties are told that grounds which they hoped would stage matches in 2020 are deemed unsuitable. Maybe the reason why the publication of the fixturelist appears not to be imminent is because it needs to be determined which grounds are suitable. I am not sure whether or not Hampshire will also be prevented by hosting Twenty20 matches at the Rose Bowl. I know that Rod Bransgrove has long complained that England don’t play at the Rose Bowl as often as he feels they should, but I don’t think that he ever envisaged a scenario whereby England would end up playing too often there to accommodate Hampshire’s matches!

Re: Season 2020
Trainspotter 13 July, 2020 22:31
Jonathan, do not reply to the email from Surrey. There is a suggestion on their fans website ovalworldonline that this is a scam and no such email has been sent.

Re: Season 2020
Trainspotter 13 July, 2020 22:32

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 13 July, 2020 23:15
The email looks dodgy, as one part of the email urges me to apply for my refund by this coming Friday, while another part says the deadline is this Wednesday. In fact, it says the deadline was initially 6th July, despite no-one from ECB, the counties or the media having officially ruled out the possibility of the T20 Blast taking place in front of capacity crowds. I would have assumed that any communication about ticket refunds would only come after an announcement had been made about when and where matches will be played and who (if anyone) is allowed to attend. Additionally, the email contains just text with no images, which makes it appear less professional than what I would expect from a major sports organisation.

The email says that I should log into my account on Surrey’s ticket portal and click on ‘account cashback’, but I can’t find this option. As the links in the email direct to Surrey’s ticket portal, at least there can be little harm in following the links.

I will email Surrey’s ticket office and see what they say.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Winsky 14 July, 2020 19:42
I today received a reply from Surrey, which says: “Thank you for getting in touch. The email we sent yesterday was genuine but unfortunately was incorrectly generated by a technical issue at our ticketing provider, Ticketmaster. This can be disregarded, and we are sorry for it being sent to you in the first place.

We are currently working with Ticketmaster to rectify the issue and ensure that all T20 purchasers are refunded correctly and as soon as possible. If you have already received your refund, there is nothing for you to do and we won't be in touch again. If you are still awaiting a refund we will be in touch again soon. Please accept an apology for any confusion caused”.

So, it seems to confirm that Surrey have a high level of expectation that many or all of the people to have purchased tickets for their Twenty20 matches will not be allowed to attend. I am still not sure how to apply for a refund, although I would like to think that if I end up not claiming, then they will keep on contacting me until my account shows my refund as having been claimed.

Richard Goatley has spoken to Simon Hughes’ The Analyst: Inside Cricket podcast, and an article Hughes has written on The Cricketer’s website suggests that Middlesex’s initial matches in 2020 will be played at Radlett until spectators are allowed, after which I would like to think that we can play at Lord’s. Goatley speaks of his hope that cricket can be used as a ‘testbed’ to determine the possibility of spectators being allowed into professional sporting events. I will have to actually listen to the podcast to find out whether he says anything else about the conditions in which our matches in 2020 may have to take place.

An article in the Guardian says that there are likely to be a few unusual elements to the playing conditions mainly concerning bowlers for the Bob Willis Trophy as a result of the hectic nature of the matches and the lack of training with which players are set to enter the season. It is suggested that seamers will be restricted on the amount of overs they can bowl in a match, and would be ruled-out of the following match if they exceed these limits, the second new ball will not become available until 90 overs (previously 80) to encourage spinners, first innings cannot last longer than 120 overs, and the follow-on can only be enforced if the lead is 200 runs (previously 150). Counties will be encouraged to use the loan system to ensure that they all have sufficient bowling resources, something which I would have thought is more likely to result in Middlesex providing other counties with players rather than bringing players in. Most importantly, the article ends by saying “the fixture list [is] due to be published in the next week and designed to make as many games as possible commutable for the players”.

Re: Season 2020
Jonathan Artman 20 July, 2020 15:44
The Championship and One Day fixtures seem to be out although I don't know in which format. When were these announced as I did not see an official announcement on any news outlet? Wondering when the T20 fixtures will be announced too.


Re: Season 2020
BeefyRoberts 20 July, 2020 17:54
Not seen any official fixtures announced as yet, just the 2 dayer vs Mexicans end of this week.
If there is to be a start on Aug 1st, will be published soon.
Cant see anyone able to attend games yet though, we await developments.

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