Village cricket clubs refuse to pause matches during Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday and vow to ‘play on in his name’
- England and Wales Cricket Board asked all teams to pause during the funeral
- LV= County Championship matches are set to pause but others vow to play on
- Teams call request ‘out of touch’ as players cannot currently access clubhouses
Village cricketers are refusing requests from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to stop play for an hour during Prince Philip’s funeral, calling it ‘out of touch.’
All county championship matches will pause between 2.50pm and 4.10pm on Saturday as the nation comes to a half for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Clubs across the country have been asked to observe a minute’s silence at 3pm and to halt play with all nine LV= County Championship matches set to pause.
Some clubs and leagues say they will play on as there is nowhere for their players to go as clubhouses are shut
But several other clubs and leagues have said they will play on in his honour as clubhouses and dressing rooms are closed owing to Covid.
Prince Philip – who died aged 99 on April 9 – was a keen cricketer, who served as MCC chairman twice and was a patron of the Lord’s Taverners charity.
The Shropshire County Cricket League has asked its teams to play on after the silence in Prince Philip’s name.
The ECB’s flag flies at half mast during a County Championship match between Leicestershire and Hampshire last weekend
The Duke of Edinburgh heads towards the pavilion after scoring 18 runs in a celebrity match in August 1953 in aid of the National Playing Fields Association
It said: ‘Whilst acknowledging that players and club officials will want to appropriately mark the passing of His Royal Highness at all our Premier Division games with a period of silence at a designated time, the SCCL Executive Officers believe that under current Covid regulations, it is impractical for players at the recreational level of the game to be asked to sit around for an hour with no access to clubhouses or changing rooms, unlike those in the professional game.
‘The SCCL Executive Officers therefore ask all our Premier Division clubs to celebrate Prince Philip’s life and his love of our great game, by playing on in his name, and every ground to hold a period of two minutes silence at 3pm on Saturday to remember him.’
Aylsham St Giles Cricket Club in North Norfolk blasted the ECB’s idea as ‘out of touch’.
It said: ‘ECB how out of touch with club cricket can you be?
‘Full respect to Prince Philip, we will observe a minute’s silence.
‘What is to be gained by club cricketers sitting outside their closed clubhouses, gazing into the middle distance for an hour?’
Plumpton Cricket Club, West Sussex, said: ‘Will they allow clubhouses to open so players aren’t expected to sit outside for an hour?
While the Cumbria Cricket League – which Ben Stokes used to play in – added: ‘And what can the players do, can’t sit in a changing room or bar?’
A spokesman for the ECB said: ‘As a mark of respect, all nine LV= County Championship matches will pause between 2.50pm to 4pm on Saturday April 17, to coincide with the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
‘We are also asking all recreational cricket clubs across England and Wales to pause play between 3pm and 4pm next Saturday in order to pay their respects alongside observing the one minute silence at 3pm.’
What sports did the Duke of Edinburgh participate and at what level?
The Duke of Edinburgh’s love of cricket started at a young age and he captained the first team of his school, Gordonstoun.
Prince Philip was also patron and twelfth man at the Lord’s Taverners, a charity that serves as a leader in supporting youth cricket.
He also played for the Taverners XI and helped to introduce the Lord’s Taverners ECB Trophy which is presented annually to the cricket county champions.
He continued to be a passionate fan throughout his life, writing to the England World Cup team in 2019 to wish them luck in their final match against New Zealand.
He later described England’s incredible victory as the ‘most dramatic and greatest’ in the sport’s history.
The Prince was also among the top polo players in the country in his youth and continued to play regularly until 1971 and then took up four-in-hand carriage driving, representing Britain at several European and world championships.
The Duke also loved sailing and even famously played squash and went for a swim in the palace pool while he nervously awaited the birth of Prince Charles.
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