Barking captain King is anticipating a short season

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 March 2020

Sets of cricket stumps are lined up (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS  Photo)

Sets of cricket stumps are lined up (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Newly-appointed Barking cricket captain Marlon King is anticipating a ‘shortened season’ due to the coronavirus pandemic, writes Jacob Ranson.

Following the latest Government advice about social distancing, the ECB has recommended all forms of recreational cricket are suspended.

This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity, and since that announcement the Essex League have been thinking of ways they can shorten the 2020 season.

King took over as captain of Barking after the departures of former captains Ehsan Afzal and Pulkit Gupta, who have both joined Upminster for a new challenge, but will now have to wait to lead the team out.

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“The England and Wales Cricket Board has suspended all recreational cricket, including indoor training and indoor competitions until further notice,” King said.

“Barking CC, like all other clubs, will have to wait on the ECB, Essex County and league committees for signals on when cricket is likely to start and we are anticipating a shortened season. How short? No one knows at this stage.”

The new skipper admitted nobody could plan for such a pandemic but must focus on everyone’s health instead of worrying about season.

He added: “Planning is obviously difficult for something as serious as coronavirus, but our current focus is to ensure our members and their families are safe by following the government’s guidelines.”

A statement on the Essex League website said: “Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing and helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways we can support some levels of physical activity in communities – particularly at junior levels.

“Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months. It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led and we will continue to work with Government and advisors to ensure we are informed by science in decision making.”

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