Who said there'd be no cricket this summer? Hundreds of Sussex teams proving that theory wrong
The Sussex Cricket Foundation have been working alongside the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League to provide players in the county with as many cricketing opportunities as possible for the remainder of the 2020 season.
During Covid-19, the foundation have been supporting their network of 182 clubs through online webinars to keep clubs continuously updated upon developments, and provide support where necessary.
With no formal league season taking place, the 1st Central August Cup has been created and will be played in a 40/40 format. More than 250 teams have entered the competition with teams split into groups of six, playing five games, with limited travel.
The competition starts on Saturday, August 1 and the groups end on Saturday, August 29, with the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League Committee exploring the possibility of a potential finals weekend early in September.
In addition to the August Cup, the inaugural Sussex Slam, which is a midweek T20 offering, also launched this week.
Some 62 clubs from across the county have entered the Sussex Slam, with 15 groups of four running and a total of 186 games set to be played in a six-week period. The format has also been replicated in the women’s game for the very first time, to provide opportunities for women and girls' sections within clubs.
From a junior cricket perspective, four area leagues will be facilitating friendly fixtures for boys and girls in all age groups, while the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival will once again be in operation, offering cricket weeks for U11s – U18s. To date, more than 50 clubs have signed up to this competition.
The women and girls' game continues to be a high priority for the Sussex Cricket Foundation. The foundation recently held a Women & Girls Club Webinar to give the area a greater focus.
The webinar, which was attended by 18 clubs, was supported by Lauren Crozier (ECB Head of Female Participation), Alexia Walker, Georgia Adams and members from Sussex Cricket.
This summer, for the first time, junior girls have the opportunity to take part in dedicated cricket weeks during the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival for U13 & U15 girls to help aid their development, while women have the opportunity to take part in our inaugural Women’s Sussex Slam, and several Women’s Softball Festivals, that will be run at local clubs over the coming weeks.
To ensure they have catered for all this summer, they have organised Sussex Disability D40 fixtures v Surrey & Kent, while our Super 9s will take part in group sessions/inter club games. Finally, Sussex Seniors have a full fixture list in operation for over 50s, 60s & 70s.
Sussex Cricket Chief Executive, Rob Andrew said: “It has been a very frustrating time for everyone involved in recreational cricket this summer, but it has been fantastic to see the game return to our clubs around the county in the last few weeks.
“All the patience and hard work has paid off for players and volunteers, and we can rescue at least some of the summer of 2020 - one that will not be forgotten in a long time.
“Thank you to everyone for all you have done and continue to do for cricket in Sussex.’
Interim Head of Community Cricket Gary Wallis-Tayler added: “We are delighted to finally see the safe return of recreational cricket in Sussex.
“We have worked hard behind the scenes, not only to protect our club network but to also provide as many playing opportunities for everyone as possible during a shortened season.”