CRICKETERS have been disappointed to learn no professional matches will be played until August.

The announcement came in a statement released by the English Cricket Board.

The statement said: “The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) can today confirm a further delay to the start of the professional domestic cricket season, with no domestic cricket to be played before August 1.

“The specifics of the season remain subject to ongoing advice from UK Government and health experts, but the ambition remains to host domestic men’s and women’s cricket across England and Wales later this summer.

“The Professional Game Group (PGG) will look to outline a number of opportunities for domestic play, which will be presented to the ECB Board in June.”

Local cricket clubs have reacted to the announcement with disappointment as they will be unable to resume their season for another few months.

“We are very disappointed with this situation," said Ian Heath, Netherfield Cricket Club secretary.

“We would have expected to play in July. If football can play in June and cricket is a lot less of a contact sport then why can’t we play? You could play within the conditions for the lockdown. Fielders are generally away from each other. The wicket keepers can stand apart. There is no contact between players. We have been able to train safely over the last few weeks within the distancing rules.

“It’s a bit premature to do this as well because it’s nine weeks away and we’ve been in lockdown for 11 weeks already. You’d think by the first of August it would be all but gone. They haven’t actually said it applies to recreational cricket; the statement talks specifically about professional domestic cricket.”

Kendal cricket club released a statement on their website which said: “Following the recent announcement by the ECB regarding professional cricket and no matches until at least the beginning of July, recreational cricket remains on hold until further notice. Whilst we remain optimistic we’ll see some cricket at Shap Road in 2020 there is, unfortunately, a strong possibility no cricket will be played at all this summer. The clubhouse will remain closed until restrictions are lifted.”