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SHJL update on the Covid-19 pandemic

March 25th, 2020

Following a committee meeting held yesterday, this is an update on the Junior Leagues response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

You may have already seen communications sent by the ECB, Hertfordshire Cricket Limited and the Saracens Herts Cricket League. The SHJL endorses and reinforces the messages given in those communications, but we would highlight the following:

Cricket activity and coaching
All cricketing activity must cease until further notice. This includes training (indoor and outdoor), nets, friendly matches and league matches. A number of clubs would normally allow their facilities to be used by coaches for their private 1-2-1 or small group coaching but, having spoken to the County Welfare Officer and taking on board the ECB statement, this should cease immediately and clubs should put up notices on nets/ground facilities that no training sessions/nets can take place on their property.

Grounds and ground staff
The Hertfordshire Association of Cricket Groundsmen have issued the following advice: http://www.hertscricket.org/news/coronavirus-and-ground-maintenance-29759/
With regard to your ground staff, please keep them aware of the situation as much as you can. Please also comply with government advice regarding travel and social gatherings. But if the advice allows, do what you can to keep the ground, and particularly the square, in good condition.

Junior League matches
In line with the Saracens Herts Premier Cricket League, (the Senior League), the SHJL is hopeful of a resumption of some cricket activity in July and will prepare for this until Government guidance tells us otherwise.The groups and fixtures currently arranged would stay in place, but we would simply move week 1 fixtures to July and get as many rounds in as possible. If a resumption of play is possible there will be no Finals Day and no trophies or medals will be presented. The matches will be played as friendlies and we will ask clubs to be flexible if they need to rearrange matches and also relax the eligibility rules for age groups and county players. The sole focus will be on getting junior members playing cricket.

Junior League fees
The committee has decided to waive all league fees for the 2020 season.

Handbook
No handbook will produced for the 2020 season.

Balls
We are talking to MB Malik and Readers about the ball orders and will come back to clubs when we have further information.

Finances
Obviously club finances will be stretched at this time and we would encourage clubs to seek out the financial help available from the Government, for which they may be eligible. This will definitely apply to clubs who have employees who are paid via PAYE. If clubs wish to claim the 80% relief on staff wages it is mandatory for that staff member to be furloughed in order for this to happen. Subcontractors and freelance staff will not be covered. You may also be entitled to Rate relief and if you are VAT registered, a VAT holiday. 
The Government has launched a website with information about the help available to businesses - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

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