Bridlington CC's 200th birthday plans put on hold
The 2020 season was set to be a historic one for Bridlington Cricket Club as they celebrated their bicentenary, but the coronavirus has placed all cricketing - and sport in general - action on hold.
Bridlington CC chairman Bill Emmerson said: “Several weeks ago Bridlington Cricket Club was busily preparing for the most important season in its history.
“The club was formed in the year 1820 and therefore this year it was to be celebrating its bicentenary. Then came the virus.
“In an instant the world has changed. All organised sport in the UK has stopped.
“The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) recently stated there will be no cricket at least until the end of May.
“Just a few days later, any thought of playing cricket in the near future seems very optimistic.
“It seems hardly believable, it’s surreal but it’s true.”
The club was due to play a celebratory match against the MCC on Sunday May 31, and this has now been postponed.
The bicentenary dinner featuring Mark Arthur, chief executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, as keynote speaker has been booked for Saturday November 21 but this could also be in doubt.
A book has been written about the history of the club by former chairman Lance Cook to mark the 200-year anniversary.
Emmerson added: “Who would have thought that a virus would become part of the history of the club?
“The impact of the coronavirus has been immense for almost every person on the planet.
“Of course, sport is important but its priority is insignificant compared to the battle to save people’s lives.”
“The sport of cricket is a family and together we pay tribute to our fantastic National Health Service, the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, education staff, volunteer staff and carers who are risking their lives to save others.
“In the light of all this, the issues of running a cricket club are very insignificant.
“We need to plan for better days but the impact on Bridlington Cricket Club’s finances will be severe.
“Bills still have to be paid but fundraising and income has ceased.
“Sponsorship is on hold and our efforts to renovate and refurbish the clubhouse before the start of the season has stopped.”
Bridlington CC’s 1st X1 and 2nd X1 both gained promotion last year and with a number of new players joining the club, in their bicentenary year the Dukes Park club have seldom looked stronger.
The club has worked hard to develop its junior section and now has more than 60 junior members.
A Bridlington CC women and girls section was due to start in 2020 in partnership with the Yorkshire Cricket Board.
Emmerson added: “Everything is on lockdown, cricket clubs and indeed all voluntary sports clubs are now facing uncertain times and organised sport is likely to look very different in the future.
“But we will survive, the club survived two world wars and the virus will not defeat us.
“Cricket will start again hopefully sooner rather than later and sport will never seem more relevant as we look forward to resuming our lives, to socialising and to playing the great game of cricket.
“In the meantime, we all need to stay indoors, keep safe and healthy to support the NHS.”
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