Lincs ECB chairman Hedley Stroud hopes the county will see competitive cricket this year

Plans being made for the sport's return...

Action between Boston and Grantham last year.

Lincolnshire ECB chairman Hedley Stroud hopes the county can see competitive cricket this year.

Action will not return until July 1 at the earliest, but there remains a desire for senior, junior and women’s matches to be staged later this summer.

“The feeling is that it would be nice to have some competitive cricket, even if it’s a cup competition or mini leagues,” Mr Stroud said.

“It’s got to be common sense that we still want to provide people with some cricket, but not just men’s cricket on a Saturday.

“That also includes junior cricket and women’s cricket. We have been working hard to promote women’s and girls’ cricket and this has unfortunately set us back.”

The England men’s team will begin their retun to training today (Wednesday), while on Friday the ECB released guidelines to players and clubs about how to train while remaining safe.

In line with Government rules, members of the same household - or with one other person from another household, as long as they social distance by at least two metres - can exercise together.

If using nets, then there must be an empty net between parties. Clubs have been asked to operate a booking system and provide a sanitation of equipment between uses.

“We’ve got to take every positive thing we can,” Mr Stroud said, adding that clubs and leagues will have to take a step-by-step approach.

“Obviously, we don’t know how it will end up, there will be a lot of conversations and Zoom meetings before we can go any further. We are still in the dark.”

Mr Stroud added that the Lincs ECB are taking a ‘broad-minded approach’ to the return of the sport.

Different action plans are in place depending on how much of the campaign is left when, if at all, cricket can begin again.

Suggestions such as a cup competition, T20 matches, smaller localised leagues and playing out the remaining league fixtures are among the ideas still on the table.

Another idea is for shorter matches to be played for seniors, allowing juniors to get games in earlier in the day.

Mr Stroud, however, was adamant that no decision would be made without the input of clubs.

“I think there’s got to be feedback from the clubs,” he said. “Obviously, the clubs are getting feedback from players. This is player led, about what we need to provide.”

There are also other issues to deal with such as whether elder, more vulnerable members of the cricketing community, such as umpires and veteran players, would feel comfortable returning to the sport this year.

However, it has been confirmed there will be no relegation from the Lincs ECB Premier this year.