Prime Minister Boris Johnson says recreational cricket cannot return just yet after coronavirus
"The problem with cricket... is that the ball is a natural vector of disease, potentially," says Prime Minister
Last Updated: 23/06/20 7:45pm
The Prime Minister says the restrictions preventing the return of recreational cannot yet be lifted.
Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers could reopen from July 4, providing they are COVID-secure.
However, when questioned in the House of Commons about grassroots cricket returning, the PM said it could not happen yet.
"The problem with cricket as everybody understands, is that the ball is a natural vector of disease, potentially, at any rate and we've been round it many times with our scientific friends," said Johnson.
"At the moment we're still working on ways to make cricket more Covid-secure, but we can't change the guidance yet."
The England and Wales Cricket Broad later released a statement on Tuesday evening, which read: "The ECB along with the nation's cricket players are keen to see the imminent and safe return of our sport at recreational level and have been working hard with Government to achieve this.
"We believe that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other activities being currently permitted. It is our strong desire to work with Government to see the return of recreational cricket on or around 4th July, as they continue to lift other restrictions more broadly across society.
"We are heartened that the Government has already permitted the return of other ball sports, including tennis and basketball, and we are sure that our interpretation of the risks around ball transmission is consistent with these other games.
"We can confirm that any guidance we share with the game will include directions on how to mitigate any risk from handling the ball as we continue to prioritise the health and safety of the cricket family in all our decision-making.''