The local season is expected to get under way in both the NCU and NW on Saturday May 8th.

Details of the format in both Unions is to be released in the coming days, but it is expected that they will start with their respective T20 competitions, followed by longer matches in mid-June.

Both Unions have yet to make their respective cup draws too.

"The NCU is encouraged to see a return to local cricket in Northern Ireland on the horizon, however all clubs are reminded that current guidelines must be followed regarding training group sizes and Return to Train protocols," said an NCU statement on Thursday evening after the announcement by the NI executive.

Cricket could in theory have got under way on April 24th, but the extra time will allow clubs to play warm-up games and assist in ground preparations.

Men's Interprovincial cricket starts on May 1st, while the Women's Super Series is scheduled to start on April 25th.