According to the first, most optimistic version, the existing restrictions are lifted immediately, and it would be possible to play a full set of competitions as originally planned. This programme would be enormously assisted by the fact that the amateur football season has already been abandoned, leaving the grounds free for cricket.
Most estimates would be that such a rapid return to normal is extremely unlikely, given that the Netherlands has only just begun to see a flattening of the curve of infections.
It is, perhaps, more credible that sporting activities are able to be resumed at some point between 28 April and 1 July (the KNCB’s Scenario 2).
In this case, it is proposed, the original programme would apply, but those matches scheduled to be played before the eventual starting date would be deemed to have been cancelled, handled in the same way that rained-off games are in a normal season.
When the competitions could actually start would naturally be determined by when grounds could be made playable, with clubs whose ground is not yet ready being urged to play on their opponents’ ground or at a neutral venue.
While the KNCB still holds to the ambition of allowing everyone to play as much cricket as possible, half of the normal round robin competition is seen as the minimum for this scenario to apply, and that would still be possible if the competitions got under way before 1 July.
Thereafter, Scenario 3 comes into play.
In this case, the Bond suggests, the best option would be to play a T20 competition, allowing the maximum number of matches to be played each weekend, along with games on midweek evenings.
According to this model, the top twenty men’s sides would play a T20 competition in two groups of ten – essentially the clubs from the Topklasse and Hoofdklasse – followed by play-offs to produce a champion.
A T20 competition would also be organised for the women, with the lower divisions of men’s cricket rearranged in order to facilitate as many fixtures within regions as possible.
Since in this scenario there would be no cricket until after the normal finishing date for the youth competitions, a programme of junior cricket would be arranged to run through the summer vacation.
One decision which has already been taken by the KNCB Board is that in view of the reduced amount of cricket which on any reasonable estimate will be played this summer, clubs’ subscriptions for the year will be reduced proportionately. This calculation can, obviously, only be made once it is known whether there will be a season at all, and the subscriptions will only be payable after it has been completed.
Uncertainty still hangs over the international programme, although with international air travel now largely restricted to emergency evacuation flights and many countries still in the early stages of the pandemic’s course, it must be extremely unlikely that the series and tournaments scheduled for June and July will go ahead.