The Press

Stumps pulled on tra­di­tional tea

- Sports · England · Stanley · Gary Stanley · Preston Nomads Cricket Club

The tra­di­tional cricket tea may be in jeop­ardy af­ter Eng­land’s largest league told clubs that from next sum­mer it will no longer be manda­tory to serve re­fresh­ments for play­ers be­tween in­nings.

The Sus­sex Cricket League, which com­prises 335 teams from 140 clubs, an­nounced that it will now be up to in­di­vid­ual clubs to de­cide if they want to pro­vide the nor­mal se­lec­tion of cakes, scones, sand­wiches and pies dur­ing the in­ter­val.

Clubs will only be man­dated to of­fer hot and cold drinks to play­ers.

The an­nounce­ment comes af­ter tra­di­tional teas were scrapped in all recre­ational leagues and friendly matches last sum­mer as a coro­n­avirus pre­cau­tion, forc­ing play­ers to bring in their own food.

Al­though many clubs con­sider the pro­vi­sion of snacks as a key part of the game, some are find­ing it hard to af­ford them af­ter their fi­nances were hit by a de­cline in reg­u­lar play­ers and a sharp re­duc­tion in pro­ceeds at club bars even be­fore Covid-19.

‘‘Lots of clubs, and this was pro­posed by six or seven of them, came to us and said: we want to pro­pose that the obli­ga­tion to pro­vide teas for 2021 is re­moved,’’ Gary Stan­ley, the chair­man of the Sus­sex League, told BBC Sport. ‘‘This is only for 2021 – it can be changed for the fol­low­ing sea­son.’’

A num­ber of clubs which op­posed the vote have al­ready de­clared their in­ten­tion to con­tinue serv­ing teas as nor­mal.

‘‘We will uni­lat­er­ally dis­re­gard the out­come of this vote,’’ said Pre­ston No­mads Cricket Club. ‘‘We en­cour­age other clubs to fol­low suit.’’

Clubs have agreed to a slight in­crease in the match fee for um­pires, to cover the cost of their own teas.

 ??  ?? The crick­eters’ tea could be bowled out of the game as a coro­n­avirus pre­cau­tion.
The crick­eters’ tea could be bowled out of the game as a coro­n­avirus pre­cau­tion.

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