COVID-19 STOPPED PLAY: Raby Castle CC will be unable to defend their title for the time being
COVID-19 STOPPED PLAY: Raby Castle CC will be unable to defend their title for the time being

THE prospect of any play in the village cricket league this season remains as distant as ever this week.
Under normal circumstances, the first round of league matches would have been played this coming Saturday, with defending A division champions Raby Castle CC opening the campaign at Middleton St George.
The executive committee of the Darlington and District Cricket League had been expected to meet early in April to discuss what may be possible.
However, with the country still in lockdown, there will be no play before June at the earliest.
League president Brian Jones said: “The executive fully supports government and ECB efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus and we will be guided by official advice.
“At the same time, we all want to see cricket played this year if at all possible, and if restrictions are lifted before the end of the season, we will be organising fixtures for all of our clubs.
“No Darlington and District League fixtures will be played until further notice and in no case before the end of May 2020. A decision on games in June will be made by mid-May.”
Mr Jones added that of Government and ECB guidelines allow, the executive will organise fixtures between member clubs before the scheduled end of the season.
“The details of these fixtures will depend on when restrictions are lifted.
“There will be no penalties applied to clubs who do not wish to participate in such fixtures.”
In the meantime, league fees are being waived until and when fixtures are organised for 2020. If there are no fixtures, there will be no fees.
Even if not a single ball is bowled in the 2020 season, the league is planning to go ahead with the printing of the annual league handbook to mark the season.