Cricketers in the county are unlikely to take to the field until at least July after the Cumbria Cricket League decided to abandon the 2020 season in its current state due to the coronavirus pandemic

The campaign was due to get under way on April 18 with the first round of Premier Division matches, with Furness, Dalton, Millom, Lindal Moor and Haverigg all in action.

The league met on Thursday night to discuss what is an unprecedented situation and decided that, along with drastically shortening the season, there would be no promotion and relegation between the three divisions this year.

As a result, the 2021 season will start as set up for 2020 and clubs have been recommended to ‘take appropriate action in respect of overseas players.’

Further decisions will be made about what cricket can take place in what’s left of the season in the weeks and months ahead.

In a statement, Cumbria Cricket League chairman Steve Chambers said: “It is hoped we could have some type of cricket perhaps in July. However, as this virus isn’t easy to predict, and we seem to be 3-4 months behind China, it could even be August.

“I think we will look at how this can be developed further down the line when we have borne the full impact of the virus.

“If any clubs need help and support, then of course we as a management team are always here to advise.

“I am sure the indomitable Cumbria spirit will be in plenty of supply as we band together to support each other through this trying time.”

The outbreak has also affected Barrow in the Northern Premier League, who have announced that no senior cricket will be played in its structure until at least May 31 and there is unlikely to be any league cricket before July 1.

The decisions were made following recommendations from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that all forms of recreational cricket were suspended during the outbreak.

Their statement read: “It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led. And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.

“Over the coming weeks we will work with the game to understand what support is required across the cricket community, particularly local clubs and leagues.

“We understand that countless hours of work from thousands of volunteers have already gone into getting ready for the 2020 season and we know how disappointing this will be. We are thankful for the huge role that volunteers play in local cricket, to ensure the game remains at the heart of communities.”