CRICKETERS throughout the Tyne Valley are looking forward to returning to the wicket after recreational cricket was given government approval to resume.

Friendlies are due to take place between the district’s Northumberland and Tyneside League and West Tyne league sides this weekend as national and local cricket boards discuss a date to restart.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it was delighted to receive the green light for recreational cricket in England, meaning competitive cricket matches with adjustments to respect hygiene and social distancing would be permitted.

However the Northumberland and Tyneside League said it was reserving any comment until the guidelines had been published.

“As soon as we receive these we will contact clubs about the return of any NTCL managed cricket,” a statement read.

The news was received with positivity at clubs throughout the Tyne Valley.

Stamfordham Cricket Club announced they will play Corbridge and Haydon Bridge in a welcome afternoon of T20 on Saturday, while Corbridge said competitive games could possibly start from Saturday, July 18.

Tynedale Cricket Club captain Tom Cant said the side has held talks with teams about friendlies, but were waiting on official guidelines from the ECB.

He said: “We have been working hard in training and friendlies is the next stage of getting some form of competitive cricket.”

Tynedale U18 girls team will start their season in the Division One Tyneside league on Tuesday.

Chairman of Stocksfield Cricket Club, Chris Catnach, said players have carried out net sessions and preparing for a return.

He said: “There are going to be a lot of restrictions with cleaning the ball and washing hands, but we’re having a meeting on Thursday to decide on a way forward.

“We are yet to decide on a friendly on Saturday, but we will be trying for some form of cricket.”

ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: “We know how difficult it has been for everyone to go without cricket this summer, and we thank you for your patience.”