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Covid-19 impact forces Two Counties Championship to call off 2020 season

The Two Counties Championship's management sub-committee have confirmed the abandonment of its 2020 season.

The campaign had been due to get under way in April, but the start was delayed due to the impact of Covid-19.

The ECB's latest update revealed a hope that it would be possible for some league cricket to happen this summer, but no play will take place in the Two Counties, with localised friendlies now the only option for those clubs.

The Two Counties season has been abandoned
The Two Counties season has been abandoned

Explaining the reasoning behind the decision, a statement from acting chairman Geoff Eveling read: "Following an appraisal of feedback from Circular 4 the Management Sub-Committee have met today and we have taken the very difficult decision to abandon proposals to play Two Counties League Cricket this year.

"Whilst many clubs are able to extend their playing dates we have many others, for whom this is not possible due to cross over with other sports. Difficulties in transporting people to matches has also been identified as a major issue given the distances between some teams.

"We are therefore preparing a suggested list of locally grouped clubs so that they can arrange matches between themselves, minimising travel and the effect of some of the other issues that come with the new playing conditions. We will have these groupings out to the clubs by the middle of this week so that arrangements can be made.

"It should also be noted that we have heard from ECiC (Essex Cricket in the Community) that it has come to their attention that some clubs have indicated that they are going to arrange and play cricket before the ECB clear us to do so. We would like to remind our member clubs that this should not happen as it could well jeopardise the hard work going on behind the scenes by the counties and the ECB.

"Given that we will have no League cricket this season the Management Sub-Committee has decided that the annual subscription will be suspended for 2020 (those that have paid will be carried forward or refunds can be arranged).

"However, we will still need to distribute and receive payment for the balls ordered for this season. Therefore, we will be arranging for these to be distributed to the clubs in the form of a collection day however we are going to make these more localised and have three venues facilitating this. We will publish details of this shortly but it is our intention to get the balls distributed some time in July.

"Finally, we appreciate that from what we have seen and heard that youth cricket is already up and running again at many clubs. However, we would actively encourage given that the nights are drawing in after today that time is given at weekends to our youngsters as they are the lifeblood of the game and we don’t want to lose players through lack of opportunity."