Excitement builds as Perth Doo’cot provide update on return of cricket activity

Perth Doo’cot Cricket Club is forging plans with the Gannochy Trust for a return to action.

The coronavirus outbreak forced Doo’cot Park to close back in March but the loosening of lockdown restrictions is allowing for sport to make a phased comeback.

And Perth cricketers hope to sharpen up their game with nets practice as early as next week.

Following Cricket Scotland guidance, social distancing and a wide array of safety measures will be implemented.

Perth Doo’cot Cricket Club secretary Graham Ferguson provided an update on the current state of affairs.

He said: “Guidance from Cricket Scotland came out last Tuesday and, because we are tenants at Doo’cot Park, we need to submit plans for a return.

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“We are hoping to start this Monday coming, July 6. This is the same as a few clubs.

“It’s about doing it right, rather than doing it quick. The guidance from Cricket Scotland was 11 pages long in terms of what you can do.

“It is cricket activity, but not as we know it. It’s all social distancing, limits on numbers, hand sanitizing when you come in and out.

“We have three nets at Doo’cot, but can only use two of them. We’ll use the two wide nets, but also have a batting cage that can roll out onto the middle.”

Junior cricket sessions will not be available for the time being, but its importance was emphasised.

“We are not going to run juniors straight away,” Graham told the PA. “The numbers don’t make it feasible.

“Part of the guidance at the moment is that you can’t get into clubhouses and therefore toilets are closed. That doesn’t lend itself to junior cricket.

“But we certainly want to run juniors in the next phase because it’s vital for the future.”

Graham added: “There is still no firm date for games, although there is a five-page road map for a return to cricket. We are on phase two at the moment.”

Perth Doo’cot has continued to engage with members throughout the lockdown period, offering popular online quizzes on a weekly basis.

Virtual cricket also proved a hit and Graham explained: “It was started by a chap at Callander, who is quite friendly with Ali Blair at our club.

“It’s as simple as two guys playing on an Xbox in the house, a computerised game you can manufacture in a way to create a team.

“Ali set up Perth Doo’cot with a mix of players who were here before and some of the overseas amateurs. It ran as a video stream on our Facebook page.

“The guys had the ability to watch and make live comments.

“I managed to get some runs, apparently.

“I was watching it and thinking: ‘I wish I could hit like that when I’m actually playing’. But it was all good fun.”

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