Boris Johnson: “There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis”
Last Updated: 03/07/20 1:31pm
The England and Wales Cricket Board has reiterated its stance that recreational
cricket is safe to play despite the UK government still not sanctioning its return amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously described the cricket ball as a “vector of disease” and said on radio station LBC on Friday dangers were even more widespread due to communal teas and dressing rooms.
The ECB said in a statement: “The ECB believes 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.
“The detailed submission we have shared with the Department For Digital, Culture, Media and Sport includes advice on how we can stage cricket safely and mitigate all potential risks.
“We believe this advice – allied with strict hygiene measures – means recreational cricket should be viewed as safe by the UK government, which would be welcome news to our nation’s recreational cricketers.”
Johnson had said on LBC: “There are reasons. These debates have gone round and round. There are various other considerations.
“The longer answer, which I think probably [chief medical officer] Chris Whitty would give if he were here about cricket, the risk is not so much the ball, although that may be a factor.
“It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis.”
England will return to Test action against West Indies in a behind-closed-doors series from Wednesday, while the men’s county season has been given the green light by the ECB to go ahead from August 1.