GCB contingencies include CI ‘Super T20’

‘SUPER T20 CI Club Weekends’ is one idea the Guernsey Cricket Board are floating to maximise what can be achieved amid another season of Covid-induced travel restrictions.

Air-Bridge cricket: Will Peatfield steams in for Guernsey in one of last summer's inter-island games with the Isle of Man. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 29252998)
Air-Bridge cricket: Will Peatfield steams in for Guernsey in one of last summer's inter-island games with the Isle of Man. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 29252998)

While ICC international competition remains a big doubt, as does the PraxisIFM Channel Islands League across June to August, the GCB are working on contingencies.

‘If travel is possible later into August then ‘Super T20 CI Club Weekends’ are in mind in each island,’ said GCB chief executive Mark Latter yesterday.

‘It was great to see so many more coming down to watch local cricket in 2020 and we hope we can provide an even better experience this summer with various ideas up our sleeves.

‘They include a GPL with franchise teams created from local players and overseas if allowed, as well as catching up on domestic fixtures lost in any delayed start.’

In 2020, Guernsey lost half a season but the rescue act proved impressive.

Latter, though, said ‘unlike 2020 where we planned for a full season in full expectation of delivering it and then hit the shut-down, this time around we are working out when we can get going and what we can then fit in once we get the get go’.

He added: ‘There is greater realism of what is likely and what is not, i.e. will we play off island or will anyone come here, or how do we use “air bridges” that we hope will return.

‘Of course this affects all sports and some [like football and hockey] are trying to finish a season whereas cricket and other summer sports are still to begin our year.

‘Here some give and take, reducing league rotations and/or cramming in remaining fixtures with summer sports maybe delaying their start to catch up later will mean all likely can achieve a better-than-feared outcome.’

On the representative front, the Guernsey men’s team are due to go to Finland at the end of June for the ICC 2022 T20 World Cup Regional Qualifiers, and the Under 19s to Scotland later for their World Cup Qualifiers, but it remains to be seen if either happens.

‘With international competition there are factors here across countries that need to be considered and we await the outcome of the ICC thinking here,’ said the GCB chief.

‘Age-group tours for boys and girls are planned in Sussex and Bromsgrove. If these are not to happen then the highly successful “air bridge” with Isle of Man will hopefully happen again.’‘We are already in discussion with Isle of Man and an expanded programme to include our women and girls is hoped to be possible. If other Air Bridges are possible then these will be explored to bring more international cricket to our shores or allow our players to put their hard practice into action on grounds around Europe.

‘We know how important these sports tours are in these uncertain times both in keeping spirits up but also financially. In 2020 having some 140 visitors filling hotel beds and spending across local businesses during IOM week was a great fillip for all.’

Domestically cricket has a full summer schedule planned with over 200 Odey Wealth Evening League fixtures to get played across the three Divisions and Cups.

At weekends another 50 plus games are scheduled including an expanded Bowl programme with Cobo and Rovers making a return at 2nd XI level here.

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