The lockdown imposed by the Scottish Government in March ultimately led to competitive league and cup competition in Scotland being abandoned for the season when it became apparent that even 50% of the organised programme would not happen with August 1st being targeted by the cricket authorities for some kind of resumption.
The first difference for the club was lockdown preventing the normal importation of overseas players and coaches to assist the club so that arrangements made with Alex Ranson (school), Shaylen Pillay (mens/junior cricket) and Hannah Short (womens/junior cricket) and gap student players had to be cancelled.
Eventually the playing of matches against other clubs was permitted from 8th August with “Covid safe” rules introduced meaning no pavilions to be open, no seating around grounds and no spectators allowed with numbers at any match restricted to 28 including players, umpires and scorers, matches played within local areas only and no car sharing on the way to matches. Special match conditions were introduced to encourage social distancing on the field of play.
The mens 1st XI (above) defeated RH Corstorphine on Saturday 5th August
For the 1st XI a programme of Saturday 40 overs a side matches and midweek 16 over a side matches were introduced involving Carlton, Grange, Watsonians, Corstorphine, Heriot’s and ourselves. That meant no games with Stoneywood-Dyce (Aberdeen), Forfarshire (dUndee), Arbroath and Meigle.
The East of Scotland Cricket Association (“ESCA”) split their 70+ participating teams into pods based on location and ranking so that our 2s, 3s and 4s had games arranged centrally for every Saturday. In addition the club continued the practice of playing intra club matches both midweek and Sundays open to all seniors and older juniors as well as some midweek external Trojans matches (pretty much involving 3s and 4s players).
A small number of womens cricket matches took place were arranged also in conjunction with our “partner club” Edinburgh South.
From the beginning of July practice nets were allowed for young cricketers subject to pre booking, restricted numbers and limited access to coaches. While similar practice arrangements were later introduced for senior players the club found it administratively easier and more productive to continue playing intra club matches.
For the senior teams external games started on Tuesday 11th August when the 1st XI played Watsonians at Inverleith 16 overs a side with a 6pm start. Further “T16” matches followed against Grange (18th August), Heriot’s (20th August), Carlton (1st September). The wet weather endured mostly post lockdown prevented the match against Corstorphine being played while a deluge brought an early conclusion to the match with Grange. We were on the wrong side of the result in the matches with stronger Heriot’s, Carlton and Watsonian selections.
At the time of writing the final Saturday match with Carlton is a few days off yet. Grange and Heriot’s and Watsonians were comfortable winners and Corstorphine were defeated.
Each Saturday the club fielded four full teams in senior mens cricket and on Sundays weather permitting intra club cricket has taken place. Since the July resumption of practice 97 juniors (75 boys and 22 girls) have taken part in junior club activity while 27 boys and 14 girls have played in senior mens or womens cricket in the period from 8th August.
The Womens joint team with Edinburgh South (above) defeated Carlton on Sunday 16th August.