Cricket balls are "a natural vector of disease" and hence recreational cricket will not be allowed to return in the immediate future in the United Kingdom, said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson's statement deals with a death blow for any hopes for an immediate restart for non-professional cricket leagues.
Johnson's comments came in response to a question from Member of Parliament Greg Clarke in the House of Commons, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Clark, the Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells, asked the PM to clarify whether "the ban on cricket has come to an end".
"Cricket is perhaps our most socially-distanced team sport," he said. "We've lost half the summer but there is another half left to be enjoyed by players and spectators alike." On Saturday, he tweeted that it was "absurd that no cricket can be played this midsummer weekend".
Johnson responded: "The problem with cricket as everybody understands [is] that the ball is a natural vector of disease, potentially at any rate. We've been round it many times with our scientific friends.
"At the moment, we're still working on ways to make cricket more Covid-secure but we can't change the guidance yet."
His comments won't have any effect on England's upcoming series against West Indies or the resumption of County cricket as they will be governed by guidance for elite sports.