The chairman of Oswestry Cricket Club has confirmed the club will remain closed, despite new guidance from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) allowing clubs to re-open for outdoor nets practice, subject to strict guidelines.

Chris Wiseman feels the club has taken the correct decision to remain closed for the time being, and says the club will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks.

Guidelines were published by the ECB last week, which allow a maximum two persons per net for outdoor practice, unless they are part of the same household.

The recreational game remains suspended, and despite cricketers being keen to get back to action, Chris believes re-opening would pose too much of a risk.

He said: “From a club point of view, we won’t be opening as they have said we can, it’s just too much risk.

“It’s a lot to take in and there are still a lot of ifs and buts, so things will continue as they have been.

“We will review the decision as a management committee as time goes on, but at the moment our facilities are still closed.

“We feel like it would put more pressure on the club in terms of cleaning of the facilities and risk assessments to be done – it’s a lot of responsibility.

“It’s still all a bit vague and it feels like everything is down to each individual club, so we’re going to refrain from doing anything for the time being.”

Under normal circumstances, the competitive fixtures in the Birmingham League would be underway for Oswestry and their fellow sides, but the suspension of the season has pushed fixtures back indefinitely.

Chris believes it is ambitious to think competitive cricket will be played this summer.

“I personally don’t see any meaningful league cricket being played this season,” he said. “And if we are able to get four to six games put on in August or September, we have to then look at whether that is financially viable or not.

“We would also have to look at whether we could re-open the clubhouse, and if we could, would we have to spend money on screens and other things.

“It’s all unknown, and I think that’s the problem with COVID-19, everything is unknown.”

After England’s national team won the Cricket World Cup in 2019, Chris was looking forward to seeing the sport grow this year, but believes the pandemic will have put an end to a lot of those hopes.

He added: “With all the hopes for participation this year after last year’s world cup win, it was looking like there would be a lot of new blood and much higher participation levels, and this has just wiped it all out.“There were some good plans put in place by Shropshire Cricket Board such as going into primary schools, promoting girls’ cricket at The Marches [in Oswestry] and the ECB’s Dynamos programme aimed at nine to 12-year-olds.“There were plenty of plans to build on the success of last year, and all of them seem to be gone because of all this.”