As with the rest of the sporting world, an uncertain summer lies ahead for the cricket fraternity throughout Ireland.

Last week both Cricket Ireland and the local Union issued statements in keeping with the Irish Government's suspension of sporting events up and down the country.

Because we're very much in uncharted territory at present, the current updates are all fairly generic however this week, the NWCU wrote again to all its stakeholders to try to address some of their most pressing issues.

While the North West certainly isn't in a position to project a start date for the new season, General Manager Peter McCartney did offer advice to clubs on what they can expect in the short term at least.

With the domestic season due to start at the end of next month, clubs would normally now be making arrangements for the arrival of their overseas players. That would coincide with the release of the league fixtures for the summer ahead, coupled with payment of club fees and registration of players.

Mr McCartney has now advised clubs that they will not be required to pay fees at this point in time, while an update on scheduling won't be considered until after the initial review date of 29 March.

That date is really only a reference point at this stage of course and it looks exceptionally unlikely that we will get anything other than a new review date once this one has lapsed.

The knock-on effect of that, and one of the main factors for local clubs is that of the overseas players. The General Manager had no precise information in this regard, suggesting that clubs rely on guidance from the Borders Agency regarding entry into the country.

At present, the message would appear to be "wait and see" before making specific travel arrangements because this type of expenditure is entirely clubs' own business.

The message to teams and Coaches is that the Union recommends no group practice sessions in keeping with their earlier advice. That will continue to be the case until further notice.

All representative and underage cricket is subject to the same restrictions at present.

Mr McCartney also indicated that the NWCU had draft proposals prepared in the event of a delayed start to the domestic season.

While there was no confirmation of the specific detail, it does appear likely that a suspension of All-Ireland cup competitions, no league replays or as a last resort, teams playing each other just once will be options, depending on the timing of any agreed start date.

The Irish Cup competitions look particularly vulnerable at this stage given the potential travel issues, however no formal decisions will be made until the picture becomes clearer.

Away from the club scene, the Interprovincial and International programme could be under threat as well. The Interpro series was heavily disrupted by the weather in 2019 and another compacted season would be bitterly disappointing.

Of much more concern however would be any disruption to the highly-anticipated T20 series against New Zealand at Bready, set for late June.

The NWCU have already put an exceptional amount of work into this series and are preparing for it to go ahead as planned. With things changing by the day at present, they are hopeful that the picture might be brighter in three months time.

I'm sure we're all rooting for that!