AFTER months of uncertainty, empty scorecards and unused clubhouses, cricket returned at clubs throughout the Tyne Valley on Saturday.

The esteemed cricket writer Neville Cardus once wrote “there can be no summer in this land without cricket”, and on July 11 summer had finally arrived.

Clubs participated in friendly matches and intra-squad games as competitive cricket looks set to return on Saturday, July 18.

At Priors Flat, Tynedale Cricket Club held a 15-player intra-squad friendly with three teams battling it out to post the best score over 20 overs.

Captain Tom Cant posted the best bowling figures of the day with 3-25, while Ollie Fletcher hit 43 not out. "It was a lot of fun and a great way to blow the cobwebs off," Cant said.

Team Casper posted the joint highest score of 104 runs, but conceded six wickets to Team Cant’s six.

At Ponteland, Amrit Punia scored 42 runs and Andy Denyer impressed with bowling figures of 5-9 as the Chairman’s XI faced a President’s XI in a friendly match.

Cricket returned to Stocksfield as two friendlies were held on Saturday before the team’s U13, U11 and U14 girls returned to the wicket on Sunday.

The Northumberland and Tyneside Division One side are back in action this Saturday against Tynedale CC in a friendly match.

West Tyne League sides Stamfordham and Haydon Bridge battled it out with Northumberland and Tyneside League Division Two side Corbridge in a trio of friendlies at the Oval in Stamfordham.

Recommended health and safety rules from the ECB include: personal symptom checks prior to all activity; all groups limited to a maximum of 30 people, including coaches and officials; all activity should include regular hygiene breaks for participants’ hands and the ball.

As demonstrated in England's recent match against the West Indies, players should minimise handling of the ball in all activity, and no sweat or saliva should be added to the ball at any time.

Batters are also advised to run in distinct running lanes to ensure they’re not within 2m of the bowler or their batting partner.