The resumption of training for Northamptonshire players is drawing nearer as the Club ramps up efforts towards a return to cricket this summer.
A number of process and infrastructure changes have already been implemented at The County Ground, with more being finalised. The Club is following the guidance set out by Chief Medical Officer Bill Ribbans, who’s experience of more than 30 years with professional sport medicine are proving invaluable.
“I’ve been working closely with both the club and ECB medical staff over the past few weeks to ensure the correct safety measures and protocols are in place to enable a safe return to training for the players.” Ribbans said.
“These procedures have been refined and along with the correct PPE that the club have in place, I believe the club are in a position to welcome a safe return to training for all players and coaching staff, as soon as they receive the green light from the ECB and Government.”
The season remains on hold until the 1st of August at the earliest, with the ECB considering a range of fixture and competition options. Chief Executive Ray Payne was eager to see a return of players to the field, regardless of the format.
“In terms of what future matches could look like this year, it feels like we’ve got plans for just about every letter of the alphabet at this stage.” Payne said.
“My feeling has always been the same, we want to play as much cricket as we still can this year, whether that’s 4-day or T20 or 50 over games. But we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture, we have to follow the guidance of the likes of Bill (Ribbans), the ECB medical staff and government guidelines, their opinion matters most currently.”
Speaking during the Club’s online forum, Payne and Chairman Gavin Warren were hopeful of not only playing cricket this year, but welcoming small crowds to The County Ground towards the end of the season. Three weeks on, nothing has changed in the Chief Executive’s mind.
“We talked at the forum about the possibility of seeing maybe 1,500 supporters in the ground, that’s something we’re planning for and putting a lot of effort into working towards. We’re also exploring ways we can expand our free live stream to make sure as many of our supporters can watch us play as possible.”