NT Cricket welcomes and congratulates the NT Government on yesterday’s release of the Territory’s ‘Roadmap to the New Normal’.
Within the Roadmap, the NT Government outlined a three-stage process for the resumption of sport and active recreation activities. NT Cricket endorses the government’s published process and recommends the guidelines are strictly adhered to by everyone in the cricket community when seeking to resume cricket activities.
Subject to strict adherence to physical distancing requirements, maintaining good hygiene practices and the completion of a COVID-19 Safety Plan by venue operators, clubs and competitions can work to the following timeline:
Friday 15 May 2020 – organised cricket training sessions with no physical contact can resume, with indoor activities to be kept to less than 2 hours in duration.
Friday 5 June 2020 – all cricket competitions can resume with spectators in attendance and the 2 hour time limit no longer applies.
A decision on the commencement of club cricket competition matches in Darwin and Katherine will be made by the Darwin Cricket Management Committee and Katherine and Districts Cricket Association respectively. NT Cricket encourages clubs within these competitions to liaise directly with their competition administrators for further information on a resumption of play.
All cricket clubs, competitions and centres will need to complete their own COVID-19 Safety Plan assessment and submit it to the NT Government prior to re-commencing cricket activities.
NT Cricket is also working with Cricket Australia to develop a range of cricket specific guidelines to assist competitions and associations with matters such as the use of shared equipment and shining the ball.
NT Cricket CEO Joel Morrison welcomed the NT Government’s announcement but cautioned cricket will return to a ‘new normal’.
“It is exciting that we have a roadmap to resuming cricket activities in the Territory, however it’s very important that people aren’t expecting a return to ‘business as usual’.
“How we play and train will look a lot different compared to the past. Everyone must continue to strictly adhere to physical distancing measures, maintain a focus on good hygiene practices and ensure cricket venues are appropriately modified to accommodate the government’s requirements.
“We’ve been very fortunate in the Territory so far, but we’re not out of the woods just yet. If we’re to continue to enjoy the success we’ve had to date in supressing the virus everyone needs to keep playing their part.
“This means continuing to follow the advice of the relevant authorities and adapting the way we play and train.”
As cricket clubs and competitions begin turning their attention to resuming activities, Mr Morrison highlighted that it was important to keep in mind that cricket’s ecosystem will look and feel a lot different than it has in the past.
“COVID-19 has drastically altered the global economy and unfortunately cricket is not immune to the effects being felt around the world. At both a local and national level, cricket in the Territory is likely to feel the impacts of a world that is rapidly changing around us.
“As an example, cricket in the Top End will look and feel a lot different this season, with strict border control measures remaining in place. With this will come challenges resulting from interstate players and teams highly unlikely to travel to Darwin as has regularly been the case in years gone by.
“The circumstances around the rest of the country are also very different to those we face in the Territory. This makes it is impossible to foresee what national cricket programs may look like over the next twelve months, and if there are disruptions to national programs, what this will mean for the Territory.
“Unfortunately, the only certainty is that the world will look different to what it did prior to COVID-19. But irrespective of this, our absolute commitment remains to unite and inspire our community through cricket whatever new world we face together.
“We will embrace the challenges we collectively face and work with our community to take hold of opportunities as they present themselves.
"Our number one priority is to help clubs and competitions rebuild, strengthen and continue to provide a strong pathway for everyone within the game.”