The completion of any meaningful cricket is a distant dream for seasoned players and fans across Suffolk as the coronavirus pandemic hits plans to commence play.
The small clubs are unlikely to begin their games for the 2020 campaign but one club has taken on a different challenge which is set to test the fitness levels of its players … and at the same time raise money for charity.
For Long Melford Cricket Club has set up the 2020 Mile Members Challenge, where players and supporters cycle, walk or run to complete 2020 miles: the distance from Suffolk to Bratislava in Slovakia and back. The 61-day challenge began at the start of May and runs until the end of June.
So far £750 has already been raised. And money from the event will be going to the My WiSH Charity, which supports the work of the West Suffolk Hospital, and is targeted at its Help Your NHS Hospital Covid-19 appeal which is aimed at supporting patients and also the staff at the hospital in Bury St Edmunds during the pandemic.
The club has 110 members who play in Division 3 and 7 of the Suffolk and Essex Two Counties League, Division 1 and 3 of the Hunts County League, along with Under 15s and Under 13s sides plus the Academy which is for youngsters from five-years-old to 13.
Jason Wade, the club chairman, said: “In light of very little, if any cricket, during this 2020 season due to Covid-19 a few members have helped me to help set up this challenge which will test the fitness levels of many. It’s a little bit of fun along the way but will keep us all somehow together working for something good.
“So from May 1 until June 30 we have to run, walk or cycle 2020 miles recording the data and posting a picture on the club’s social media pages. It’s a little over 33 miles per day but with a little focus and drive we’ve got this. As per government guidelines regarding social distancing and only exercising with members from your immediate household only all members will continue to follow these measures.
“I will be surprised if we get any competitive league games this year and I thought that we could do something to support the community and got in touch with My WiSH.
“So we got together and thought we would raise the money for a charity that’s on our doorstep.”
He said the club, which has its headquarters at Meeting Fields, in Long Melford, regularly raises money for charity and thought of the 2020 idea as it ties in with the short game and this year.
“People have been doing a couple of miles and some up to 10 whilst others have been on exercise bikes. We have a group of runners in the club as well but we’re just asking members to do whatever they can,” he added.
Sally Daniels, My WiSH appeal manager, said: “It was great to hear from Long Melford Cricket Club. This is a brilliant challenge and, as Jason said, will keep the club working together and maintaining fitness which is so important at the moment. The money helps us to support the hospital exactly where it is needed so we can’t thank everyone enough for their support.”
To donate to the campaign go to the website www.justgiving.com/lmcc2020mile
Pictured above is Long Melford Cricket Club chairman Jason Wade with Lexi and Sienna Wade.