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Jason confirms that players will continue to train

It was announced this week that the country would enter another period of lockdown. One area that is exempt from the current restrictions though is elite sport.

We caught up with Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr earlier today to find out what the latest measures mean for his players and staff.

“Obviously, the lockdown has an effect on what we can and can’t do,” he explained when we spoke to him over the telephone this morning. “However, we are in the incredibly fortunate position of being able to train at the moment. Everyone was tested for Covid-19 yesterday and I’m pleased to say that all those tests came back negative. That allows us to commence training today with a view to starting in earnest on Monday with a full and comprehensive programme which has obviously been adjusted slightly in order to make sure that everyone is adhering to the government and ECB guidelines.”

What alterations has Jason had to make to his original plans in light of the new lockdown?

“We’ve clearly had to adapt our plans slightly,” he said. “We had a brilliant period in the run up to Christmas and the guys were outstanding in their training. We saw some really good development in a number of different areas, and I was really looking forward to building on that. Fortunately, we haven’t had to adapt our plans too much, so as things stand we are able to keep building and working towards our goal of hopefully playing competitive cricket at the back end of March.

“There’s a huge amount going on behind the scenes to ensure that we are keeping everyone safe and that we are strictly complying with the guidelines that are in place. We had a long virtual staff meeting during which Andy Hurry (SCCC Director of Cricket) took us through what we can and can’t do. That looked at absolutely every detail, including how we enter and exit the Ground. No kit is allowed to be stored on site, so the guys are literally coming in, doing what needs to be done and then leaving. There’s no social interaction and no one is permitted to loiter around the environment.

“Everything is being cleaned and wiped down after every use, all the staff are wearing PPE and social distancing restrictions are being strictly enforced. There are also consequences for anyone who doesn’t adhere to the guidelines. Anyone not sticking to the rules will find themselves removed from the environment for a period of time.”

Although it’s early days, how have the players dealt with the new restrictions?

“The guys have been brilliant and are just taking it in their stride. Their desire to better themselves since the end of the season is extremely pleasing to see. One of the things that life is teaching us at the moment is the need to be flexible. We need to adapt and to do it quickly.

“We’re so fortunate to be in the position to be able to train when there are so many people who are working from home or not able to work, and our thoughts are with those people at the moment. Situations like this make you realise just how fortunate we are to be in a position to be able to do something that we love every day. That’s a humbling experience.”

Jason also had a message for the Somerset Members and supporters.

“We’re all hopeful that we will have Members and supporters in the Ground this summer,” he said. “Obviously, we’re in the middle of a really tough period but we can get through this if everyone does the right things and supports each other.

“I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel and we can’t wait to see our brilliant Members and supporters back at the Cooper Associates County Ground. Hopefully, they will get the opportunity to see some live cricket in Taunton this summer because we have genuinely missed them.”

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