Derbyshire to play entire season away from home
County cricket returns a week on Saturday (August 1st) but there will be no matches played at Derby or in Derbyshire over the next two months.
With the Incora County Ground chosen by the ECB as a bio-secure venue for training camps and England Women's international matches, Derbyshire will play all of their matches this season away from home.
Chesterfield was considered but it would not have been practical to play at Queen's Park under Covid19 guidelines so for the first time, Derbyshire will play no cricket inside the county.
Explaining the decision to play all matches away, Derbyshire chief executive Ryan Duckett said: "We took that after consulting with our players and coaching staff with the understanding at present there is no indication that crowds will be allowed in this season.
"It looks as if all cricket is going to be behind closed doors so I think most of our members understand the decision that we've made and why we've made it."
Turning over Derby to the ECB for the remainder of the season was in the interests of everyone, according to Duckett.
"it is about the bigger picture for the game in general and it's in everyone's interests, at whatever level, to support this decision," he said. "It's absolutely essential that international cricket goes ahead this summer."
Derbyshire play a four day game and a Twenty20 match at Chesterfield each season but the logistics of taking cricket to Queen's Park in the current circumstances was not realistic.
"We did look at playing at Chesterfield but the challenges of playing out-ground cricket is that once you get into September it is difficult for a number of reasons," Duckett said.
"But most importantly in the short-term looking at August, to make a Covid19-safe environment with the guidelines that have been put in place for professional sport, to do that at Chesterfield in a public park would have been difficult.
"It wouldn't have been impossible but it would have meant closing down large sections of the park for a couple of months and would also have meant no junior or senior cricket at the Chesterfield club.
"So for many reasons, we just felt the easiest thing to do for all parties was to play all our matches away from home."
The team have been training at Repton School ahead of the opening four day game and Derbyshire hope they will be able to use that facility at least throughout August.
"We are in discussions with Repton to extend our agreement and certainly for August it's our intention to train at the school.
"Whether that's practical in September will have to be looked at but once you're playing games the training needs are less although we'll still need a training base for when the team isn't playing. "
For those wanting to follow Derbyshire's matches this season, the games will be streamed on the club's website.