AS the likelihood of competitive cricket this summer recedes at a rate of knots due to the coronavirus pandemic, a large number of players and supporters at promoted Llechryd are resigning themselves not to hear the sound of leather on willow until next year.

After the lower Teifi Valley side finished runners-up to Narberth in the Pembroke County League Division Two there was growing excitement in the area with players taking part in indoor net practice during the winter and the current squad boosted by the arrival of new faces.

It was the second time in their 42-year-history for the Teifisiders to reach the top flight in Pembrokeshire – the first occasion was in 1998.

The Covid-19 crisis which resulted in suspension of all cricket activity throughout the country came at a time when optimism was already on a high at the RDM Oval over the possibility of John Curran and co more than holding their own in Division One.

Skipper Curran was inspirational in leading a side comprising a mixture of experience and youth to glory, the 23-year-old hitting two centuries and returning a series of impressive bowling figures.

Curran was undoubtedly the star, but seam-bowler Graham Kean, all-rounders Rhys Beard and James Betterley, batsmen Johnnie Lewis, vastly experienced Steve Smith and others all played their part in a hugely successful campaign last time around.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has suspended the domestic season until July 1, but as the emergency situation continues hopes of any action out on the field must be extremely doubtful.

A cricket authority spokesman said “Any solution to playing cricket this summer will rely on government advice and controlled environments with safety of players and organisers guaranteed.

“Those remain our key priorities in a season that could pass without any on-field action. At such an unprecedented time cricket has come together,” he added.