Competitive cricket to return but when will the NCU and North West start club seasons?
Northern Ireland’s two regional cricketing unions look set to start their respective club seasons early next month.
Stormont is set to give the green light this afternoon for competitive sport, outside of elite level, to begin from April 23.
However, it is understood both unions currently consider that Saturday, April 24 is too early, given the lack of preparation time for grounds and to organise fixture lists.
The Northern Cricket Union’s management board is meeting on Thursday night with the aim of finalising its plans, with Saturday, May 8 thought to be the likeliest date for competitive club matches to begin in the NCU.
The North West is now understood to be aiming for the same date.
The NCU will also be debating the format of the season. Originally, it was thought that the season would begin with a series of T20 fixtures with 50-over cricket resuming later in the summer.
Stormont is set to again ban spectators from attending matches, which was considered a farcical move last summer with local club matches often watched by small crowds who can be easily be socially distanced across a large viewing areas.
This time it is believed up to 100 people will be allowed inside the grounds.