Cricket

Forces Cricketers 'Thrilled' With Sport's Return

The UK Armed Forces cricket secretary says they have followed the ECB's advice for a safe return to the game.

Cricket's return to the military sporing calendar has "benefited" from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)'s lessons, according to the UK Armed Forces cricket secretary.

While there will be no Inter Services action this year, cricket has been allowed to restart in the military with the Army first to get out on to the pitch.

They beat Oxford University in a Twenty20 match in Aldershot, but Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Mike Thornley says the ECB's advice on returning was important to follow.

"Quite rightly, the Army is concerned about the safety of its personnel and COVID-19 has had a big impact on sport throughout the Army," he said.

"There’s only a few sports that have been authorised to play and we’re very pleased that cricket has managed to get at least some cricket in this season.

"We followed their road map to restoring cricket but obviously, within the Army, there are other considerations as well.

Watch: The Army returned to action with victory over Oxford University in Aldershot.

"The Army have had to look at what the ECB has done and impose their own army for self-protection and to ensure that our personnel are as safe as possible," he added.

"Clearly, we have benefited from looking at the ECB’s lessons and following their advice in order to get our guys out playing today and hopefully, for the rest of the summer."

The Army's return to the cricket pitch saw them beat the students by 26 runs and skipper Corporal Jonathan Boynton is pleased to be back.

"The lads are just thrilled to be back playing cricket and moving forward, we are not going to be rusty going into next season," he said.

"At least, we’ve had a few games. It's been good."