Southern Premier Cricket League captain: We could have restarted a few weeks ago

Josh McCoy, right. Picture:  Mick YoungJosh McCoy, right. Picture:  Mick Young
Josh McCoy, right. Picture: Mick Young
Purbook captain Josh McCoy believes recreational cricket’s return is long overdue.

There were hopes a fortnight ago that the sport could return by the start of July.

But they were dashed last week when Boris Johnson described the ball as a ‘natural vector of disease, instantly raising more questions than answers.

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Talks between the ECB and central government continue about a return for recreational and club cricket, but there is no set date yet.

‘I don’t know why we couldn’t have played a few weeks ago,’ said McCoy.

‘I can’t see how tennis and basketball can start, but not cricket - they’re pretty similar to cricket.

It’s been very frustrating for all of us, we’re raring to go.

‘We could have been playing two or three weeks ago.’

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A resolution is expected soon, but England's star all-rounder Ben Stokes has made his thoughts on the subject clear.

‘Club cricket should start,’ he said.

‘For club cricket to be put back but pubs back open on Saturday is a bit strange to comprehend.

‘I have friends who play in the leagues in the north east and Cumbria who are just dying to get back out on the field.

‘Everybody needs something and for people who love cricket they are just desperate to get back on the field and start playing and the quicker that happens the better.

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‘I just don't really see why it can't happen especially when you see the other things that are allowed to happen.’

McCoy thought Johnson’s comments about the ball were ‘a bit over the top. If you stick to the rules - wash your hands regularly, no saliva on the ball - it would all be fine.’

Purbook are happy to take part in a League Cup tournament suggested by the Southern Premier League, rather than just play a series of friendlies.

‘The League Cup is a good idea, that will add a bit of competitiveness, and there could be a T20 tournament as well,’ said McCoy

‘Even five or six games would be nice.

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‘It would bring some revenue into the club - get the bar open and get some people down having a few beers on a Saturday evening.

‘A lot of our revenue comes from bar takings.’

He added: ‘The pitch is looking good, though we’ve had a bit of vandalism - we’ve had to go down and remove glass bottles and cans from the pitch.’

McCoy is in his third year as Purbrook captain.

He believes his squad have the quality to win promotion to Division 2 of the Southern Premier League.

‘In my first year we were unlucky not to go up,’ he recalled. ‘We’d have won promotion if we’d won our last game against South Wilts.

‘Last year we threw it away a bit, but the aim is to be playing in Division 2. I definitely think we’re good enough.

‘We’ve got a good squad, a nice young group.’