A TYNE Valley cricket club has insisted it is ready to play whenever the Government gives the green light for recreational cricket to resume.

Eager to start the season which has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, Tynedale Cricket Club has introduced safety measures to ensure the safety of all players and officials.

However, plans for a potential July 4 restart were cast in doubt earlier this week when the Prime Minister described a cricket ball as a “natural vector of diseases”.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it considered the risk from a cricket ball as no different from a tennis ball or a basketball.

In a statement, it said: “We believe that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other activities being currently permitted.

“We can confirm that any guidance we share with the game will include directions on how to mitigate any risk from handling the ball as we continue to prioritise the health and safety of the cricket family in all our decision-making.”

Captain of Tynedale, Tom Cant, said the Government’s message was confusing considering some sports were allowed to resume. He said: “There’s a big momentum push for some cricket this summer. There’s lots of conversations going on and fingers crossed we get to see some cricket soon.”

Tynedale have exercised their right to carry out training in groups of six with their cricket nets open with health and safety measures in place, and are one of many clubs to have proved it's possible to play the sport while adhering to safety measures.

“I would rather play a game of cricket than rush to a restaurant,” Cant said.

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, said the decision to maintain restrictions on amateur cricket was “utter nonsense” and that hand sanitiser could be used every time a player touched the ball.

The Hexham side, who play at Priors Flat, hope to capitalise on last seasons impressive third place finish in the Northumberland and Tyneside League. Cant added: “It would be good if we could resume from mid-July and compete half a season.”