Cricket preparing for different scenarios, says Lancaster captain Ben Simm

Lancaster captain Ben SimmLancaster captain Ben Simm
Lancaster captain Ben Simm
Ben Simm reckons the board of the Northern Cricket League need to think creatively should the new season go ahead at some point.

The Lancaster captain admitted there is every possibility that this summer’s campaign will be cancelled without a ball being bowled due to the coronavirus crisis.

The league should have staged its opening games of the season by now and Simm said there is unlikely to be any play for the foreseeable future.

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Clubs have been invited to put forward their recommendations should the season get under way at a later date.

With no chance of completing the league season in full, Simm believes T20 cricket should be the way forward and is supporting the idea of a World Cup-style Super Sixes format.

First and foremost, the Lune Road skipper insists cricket must only return as long as it is safe to do so, but he thinks if anything it is an opportunity for the league to try something different.

Simm said: “I think the more we move away from the idea of herd immunity and move towards finding a vaccine for life to carry on, it’s hard to see how cricket can move forward until that happens.

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Cricketers share the handling of the ball and a habit which we all have is to spit on the ball to shine it, so it’s hard to see where we go before we can start again.

“I do think it will come to the point where the ECB will try to push things because clubs need to play to survive and it will be a long wait having to wait until next year to play.

“But we have been asked by the league as to what we think should happen. They have given us four scenarios.

“One scenario is obviously if no cricket is played at all, then the season will be cancelled.

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“The ECB have said at the moment that no cricket can be played until the end of May, so the earliest date we could start playing is the start of June, so that’s another scenario.

“The other two scenarios are if we start playing at half-way or after that. We have given our recommendations on what we think on that.

“We would like to see a move towards T20 cricket and cup competitions.

“We have asked that they plan at the earliest for a July start because at the end of the day, the last thing we want is for somebody to contract the coronavirus because of cricket decisions we have made and the worst possible outcome of someone passing away.

“We want the ECB to make strong decisions about it.

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“But if cricket does get played then we would like to try a new format rather than the old tried and tested league competition.

“It is as good a time as any to maybe try a new cup competition. Maybe a World Cup-style Super Six group format would be great where if you go into the top six, you carry through your points from the qualifiers. Hopefully we will see something a little bit different from the normal league.

“Hopefully, we will get the opportunity to play some cricket at some point this summer as long as it’s safe enough to do so.”

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