YEP letters - Is cricket being discriminated against?

FROM: Howard Ray, Yorkshire Members Committee

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 6:00 am
Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - Headingley Cricket Ground
Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - Headingley Cricket Ground

I would like to make a plea to all Yorkshire cricket members and many supporters who I am sure are looking forward to the new season.

Under current guidelines, Yorkshire are due to play six county championship matches without the benefit of spectators present in the grounds. Members will note the irony in the fact that there are plans in place for a trial attendance at one of the FA cup semi finals at Wembley on April 17/18, similar plans will also apply to the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible in Sheffield, both events subject to all necessary safeguards.

I find this perfectly reasonable as a gradual way out of this horrible pandemic, the question therefore is why have no such facilities been afforded to cricket?

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Yorkshire have plans in place to provide an excellent screening service for the games behind closed doors so that members can watch their team. It’s also worth noting that a huge amount of work has been done by Yorkshire to ensure a safe environment can be provided for all those who attend games at Headingley.

The changes to the guidelines from May 17 state that grounds can have 25 per cent capacity. In Yorkshire’s case this could mean around 4,500 fans could be allowed to attend games.

Taking into account all the work undertaken by the club this figure can be accommodated with confidence.

It’s time for Yorkshire members, and all who support our game who wish to see cricket afforded the same facilities as other sports to make their views known by, in the first instance, contacting their local member of parliament, who I’m sure will recognise that cricket is being unfairly discriminated against.

The English Cricket Board should also be made aware of members’ views.

It’s a fact that the ECB is not noted for its forward thinking but it’s time they pulled their collective fingers out and looked after the game and the members they should be representing.