Coronavirus denies Ashcombe Park a bit of local cricket history

TEMPORARY rule changes have denied Ashcombe Park a piece of local cricket history in the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire League.

The Premier Division club were set to become one of the first clubs in the UK to introduce an Afghanistan professional to local league cricket this summer.

But Afghan all-rounder Fazal Niazi won't be coming, as the NSSCL have stated overseas first-class players will not be able to take part in any matches, should the delayed season finally get off the ground.

League officials have announced a series of additional temporary alterations to league rules for the 2020 season, including forbidding further player transfers.

Player suspensions will not be enforced for this season, but will be carried forward to 2021.

Other alterations to league rules are expected to follow in due course.

NSSCL ofifcials are working on a plan to provide some cricket if it is considered safe to do so later in the summer.

The league season was due to start on Saturday, April 18, before the coronavirus outbreak intervened.

The monthly newsletter from the NSSCL reads: "None of us know when, how and if cricket will resume this year, but there are early, gradual signs of positivity with the ECB's phased return to cricket plan.

"Even though this offers some hope, it is important we do not get ahead of ourselves in the process and managing the expectations of our players and supporters over the weeks ahead is going to be so important.

"The league cricket committee will continue to consider the options of formats of play once we have a clearer pathway.

"If cricket does receive a thumbs up for play, we intend for this to be under an organised format of the NSSCL, ensuring that all teams receive fair game time."

No domestic first-class cricket will be played until at least August 1.

Picture: Local cricket is waiting to return after being bowled out by coronavirus.


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