THE chairman of the Shepherd Neame Essex League has warned clubs that they should be ready for a shortened cricket season.

Thomas Clarke has said the league are awaiting further advice from the ECB, following the coronavirus pandemic.

They are not rearranging, postponing or cancelling any of their league, cup or T20 matches at the current time but Clarke has said that they must be ‘realistic about the challenges they are facing’.

The league executive committee met over a conference call last week and had lengthy conversations around what the league and its member clubs like newly-promoted Colchester and East Essex are facing, in the wake of the health crisis.

In a statement addressed to its various clubs, Clarke said: “We firstly want to assure you all that as a committee we want to try and get as much cricket played as possible this year – but that we are also realistic about the challenges that we are facing.

“The health of both the clubs and all of your members is paramount.

“As we stand we are not rearranging, postponing or cancelling any matches – we are waiting for further advice and updates from the ECB.

“But again we are being realistic and we want clubs to be fully aware of the current situation.

“All English professional cricket has been postponed until May 28th and, along with vulnerable people being told to self-isolate for 12 weeks, I think clubs should once again be ready for a shortened season.”

Clarke also confirmed that the league’s main sponsor Shepherd Neame will not be supporting them in 2020 and 2021 but that they will still bear the name of the brewing company, during the forthcoming campaign.

He added: “The challenges facing their industry are obviously unprecedented but we are obviously hugely indebted to them for all their support over the previous years.

“We will continue to be named the Shepherd Neame Essex League for the 2020 season.”

Any clubs wishing to chat about the issues that they have amid the coronavirus or who have ideas for 2020 should get in touch with Thomas Clarke on 07763 607076 or email him at