Coronavirus: Essex League newcomers Rainham hope to see some action
PUBLISHED: 16:30 23 April 2020
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Rainham were due to make their Shepherd Neame Essex League debut on Saturday, with a home game against fellow newcomers Newham at Spring Farm Park, writes Lee Power.
But players will be staying at home during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, with recreational cricket suspended indefinitely.
Rainham were accepted into the Essex League last year, having finished as runners-up in the Mid-Essex League Premier Division to Springfield, who have also switched competitions.
Barking, like Newham, joined from the Essex County League and all four clubs were due to do battle in Division Three in 2020.
But for now they must wait to see what kind of action, if any, they will get and Rainham captain Jon O’Neill says, although frustrated, they have had bigger concerns in recent times.
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He said: “Obviously we were excited to be moving to the SNEL and particularly starting with two games at home (Epping were set to be their scheduled opponents on May 2).
“These were going to be quite an event for the club and there was a palpable buzz in the winter nets.
“The club has made huge leaps forward off and on the field in my time here in the last decade, and this season was where all the hard work will hopefully still bear fruit.
“Sadly COVID-19 struck and to be honest, our focus has mainly been on keeping everyone safe and well in their homes. We’ve had some cases within the club and wider Rainham CC family, so our thoughts are now with those who are suffering with the virus and cricket seems insignificant at this time.
“Hopefully we will get some semblance of a season this summer and we can rediscover the winter buzz and flourish in the new league.”
Clubs and leagues have been able to apply to two new funding schemes, specifically designed to provide help in this period of uncertainty.
Details on the Emergency Loan Scheme and Return to Cricket Grant Scheme can be found at ecb.co.uk or clubs can alternatively email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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