With recreational cricket given the green light, Shepherd Neame Essex Leaguer’s Old Southendian & Southchurch – along with other clubs across the region – taking the next step out of enforced hibernation, much to the delight, and indeed, relief of their member’s.
Net sessions organised under the ECB’s stringent guidelines ensured players an opportunity to blow away the cobwebs. But with two inter-club fixtures pencilled in for this Saturday, skipper, Sam Hodgson, naturally spoke enthusiastically about the games return.
“As a club, we’re hugely excited at the prospect of being able to return to playing,” he told Yellow Sport.
“Unsurprisingly, having missed the first twelve weeks of the 2020 season our members are chomping at the bit to get back on the field and as such we’ve had a significant interest with around fifty playing members making themselves available for the weekend.
Two 40-over matches with see players selected from the Old Boys five teams go head to head, with Garon Park and The Garrison, Shoebury the likely venues.
As soon as the ECB released the guidance and we have clarity on ground availability then we’ll be able to finalise our plans,” Hodgson added.
“We have several promising youths making their way through the ranks. These fixtures offer an opportunity to integrate them with the senior cricketers.
Elsewhere, teams from Hornchurch and Shenfield will play two fixtures, while Wickford faces Westcliff-on-Sea.
Three matches are lined up between teams from Upminster and Orsett & Thurrock, while T-Rippon league side, Hornchurch Athletic are on the lookout for away fixtures for their two sides.
(Lookout for further cricket updates from Yellow Sport later in the week)