A LEADING Craven League official has called the delayed start of the 2020 season "a sad day".

Peter Foster, secretary of the Mewies Solicitors-backed league, admitted that they had no option, however, in light of the Government's advice on social distancing.

He has e-mailed all clubs in the league and concluded: "This is a very sad day but the Craven Cricket League has no option.

"From receipt of this e-mail, all cricket functions within the league will cease until further notice.

"Please be assured, I will keep you fully up to date with any development and as soon as we get a clearer picture of when we can resume.

"I understand there are still season preliminaries to complete and these will be done to the best of the executive's (committee's) ability."

The league statement reads: "Following the Government’s latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness and reluctance that we recommend that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended.

"This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.

"Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities - particularly at junior levels.

"Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months.

"It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led.

"And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.

"Over the coming weeks we will work with the game to understand what support is required across the cricket community, particularly local clubs and leagues.

"We understand that countless hours of work from thousands of volunteers have already gone into getting ready for the 2020 season and we know how disappointing this will be.

"We are thankful for the huge role that volunteers play in local cricket to ensure the game remains at the heart of communities.

"We know that you and your clubs can play an important role in bringing your community together once we get past this period of time."