Consultations with the clubs are currently taking place over the number of teams which will be entered and the availability of grounds, while a virtual meeting during the week drew up a new set of regulations in the light of the Dutch government’s latest guidelines on social distancing and Covid-19 safety.
It was the declaration by the government on Wednesday evening which triggered this burst of activity, as the KNCB was able to move promptly to the third scenario which they had laid out earlier in the crisis.
It is not yet clear what form the abbreviated competitions will take, or even whether the emphasis will be on 50-over cricket or Twenty20.
With national coach Ryan Campbell and other members of the KNCB’s coaching team coming out strongly for the longer format on social media, it is evident that there is considerable pressure from some quarters for a 50-over competition, whether or not the highest division would be regarded as a Topklasse leading to a national championship.
The Bond had previously declared that there would be no promotion or relegation in this year’s leagues, and with few, if any, overseas players able to travel Dutch-based players will have the greatest opportunity in a couple of generations to compete on a level playing-field.
If, as planned, competitions get under way next weekend (4 and 5 July), there will be nine weekends between then and the end of August, after which the return of football is likely to make competitive cricket impossible.
One option, then, is to play a ‘half-competition’ in the ten-team top divisions, with teams meeting home-or-away rather than the usual home-and-away pattern.
It’s a moot question whether, if something like this is adopted, there would also be a T20 Cup, presumably to be played on Friday evenings and/or Saturdays.
Much depends on how much appetite there is for the game after the enforced two-month lay-off, but the way in which clubs have taken the initiative in starting up their own internal competitions suggests that it may be considerable.
Further down the rankings, among the more purely recreational cricketers – although many of them would no doubt bridle at that term – there may be a stronger case for running T20 competitions this year, not least in order to maximise ground availability and thus make it possible for more players to play more cricket.
No doubt all these issues will be resolved in a matter of days, as they must be if the KNCB is to have all those vectors in action on 4 and 5 July.