As the lockdown regulations continue to keep amateur sports, in limbo grassroots clubs, such as as Langa Cricket Club, have appealed to the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) to consider alternatives.
Instead of folding their arms and simply waiting on the season to resume, club members have been hard at work trying to find creative ways of dealing with the situation.
In a press release, the club acknowledged the fact that that virus has taken many lives in and out of the cricket community.
The club’s secretary Scent Seti said, while they understand that we live in uncertain times, due to the Covid19 pandemic, they believe the decision to cancel the season is wrong.
“We, as Langa CC, do not believe such a decision will help our club or any of the community cricket clubs. We can’t be the mouthpiece of other communities in the Cape Flats but being from disadvantaged communities, our socio economic problems faced by our youth are similar to almost every cricket club within the Cape Flats district and possibly all over the Western Province,” he said.
“With a season of no cricket, unlike the privileged schools and clubs, our members (players) won’t just lose interest in cricket but lose the intensity of the keen interest in the sport overall. Players will look for other unfavourable methods to fill the space left by cricket in their lives.”
Seti is worried about players losing enthusiasm for the game.
“We have a young girls team who are losing faith in cricket, as things stand. This decision will surely mean that some of them will lose interest and drop the sport. This is an aspect of the game that Langa CC has made clear to WPCA that we want to focus on, the development of girls within cricket,” he said.
Amateur sports, Seti said, is an essential part of skills development. This, he added, is because the need to compete is a basic human need.
“It teaches humans to find ways to prevail in whatever circumstances they find themselves in. Cricket is that sport that not only teaches mindfulness but also dedication and strategic decision making.”
The club, he said, is appealing to the Club Cricket Committee and the WPCA board to rethink their decision and also find alternative ways to at least have a bit of cricket for this season.
“Give clubs the option to choose to participate in games or not, the clubs that wish to play some cricket this season and clubs that want to sit out the season as well. We as Langa do recommend that there should be no 50 over cricket this season as it keeps players for too long. A T20 game is 3 hours and this format should be the one that is used for this season.
“In leagues where there are 12 teams, those leagues should be broken down into groups of four. The winners of those groups would ultimately play in the semi-finals and the best second-place team based on their net run-rate should also make the semis. This will result in teams at least having six matches, said Seti.
Another option, he suggested, is to give clubs a grace of two months to organise friendly matches amongst themselves, with the estimated third and fourth wave on the way.
“We need to find ways to live with the pandemic without it affecting the whole cricket season and beyond,” he said.