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Guernsey could host county cricket in 2020

by Yas Rana
@Yas_Wisden 2 minute read

This weekend saw cricket return to the British Isles as the Olly Tapp XI and the Andy Cornford XI locked horns in Guernsey.

Guernsey’s impressive management of Covid-19 has meant that they have been able to get into position where they can resume sport sooner than the rest of the British Isles. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been just 13 Covid-19 related deaths in Guernsey while the island hasn’t had a new confirmed case in the last 33 days.

With a whole host of social distancing measures in place – including the use of two balls per innings, barring the use of the changing rooms and bowlers being told not to hand caps or jumpers to the umpires – cricket made a successful return with the YouTube stream of the match accumulating over 100,000 views in its first three days. Mark Latter, the CEO of the Guernsey Cricket Board, is open to the island hosting games featuring English county sides should it prove helpful.

Wisden Cricket Weekly · How Guernsey brought cricket back to the British Isles

Speaking on the Wisden Club Cricket Podcast in association with Natwest, Latter said: “Yes, definitely [on whether he’d be keen for Guernsey to host county cricket]. We’ve got a very longstanding relationship with Sussex. I sent some information to Rob [Sussex chief executive Rob Andrew] and the guys there if there was the possibility of doing something.

“One of the reasons we’ve been successful in eliminating Covid-19 on the island is that we shut the borders down very quickly. We’ve only really got one emergency flight out of the island to Southampton. If you come into the island it’s 14 days of isolation. Break that, you get a £10,000 fine so they’re not mucking around.

“We know that if we were working with a sports group with the huge medical records and testing records you’d expect in a professional sports group, working with our public health [body], we do have the possibility of managing that in terms of a secure environment with players still isolating to a certain extent and then playing at the backend of a seven-to-ten day window. It’s definitely feasible and something that we’ve floated because who knows what’s round the corner? Something could go round and we’re back to stage one again and we might still be sitting pretty. The offers are there, we’ve got the environment, we’ve got the facilities so we’ll see what happens.”

Brought to you in association with NatWest, Wisden’s Club Cricket Partner, supporting cricket at all levels for almost 40 years and a proud partner of the ECB and Chance to Shine. NatWest CricketForce helps local cricket clubs to make more from their money through free online advice and toolkits.

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