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The sound of summer returns! Village cricket resumes for the first time since lockdown

Cricketers rejoiced across the UK on Saturday as the sport returned at village level for the first time since lockdown began. 

Temperatures are set to reach highs of 74 F (23C) over the weekend which was perfect weather for the sport’s long-awaited return, with matches taking place in London, Surrey, Devon and other areas. 

Cricket is the first recreational team sport to make a comeback following the UK’s coronavirus crisis but a strict set of rules have been put in place for players.

Village cricket returned in the UK for the first time since lockdown began on Saturday, with matches taking place across the country (pictured: a batsman his a shot at Kew Cricket club in south west London)

Village cricket returned in the UK for the first time since lockdown began on Saturday, with matches taking place across the country (pictured: a batsman his a shot at Kew Cricket club in south west London)

Players, such as these cricketers in Farnham, Surrey, have been given strict guidelines to follow during the opening weekend of the sport's return. One of the rules include not being allowed to socialise inside clubhouses

Players, such as these cricketers in Farnham, Surrey, have been given strict guidelines to follow during the opening weekend of the sport's return. One of the rules include not being allowed to socialise inside clubhouses

Players, such as these cricketers in Farnham, Surrey, have been given strict guidelines to follow during the opening weekend of the sport’s return. One of the rules include not being allowed to socialise inside clubhouses 

Cricket players celebrate in Twickenham, south west London after several weeks without playing the game they love

Cricket players celebrate in Twickenham, south west London after several weeks without playing the game they love

Cricket players celebrate in Twickenham, south west London after several weeks without playing the game they love

Official government guidance states players are not be allowed to socialise inside clubhouses before, during or after matches, while they have also been instructed to keep away from team-mates as much as possible. 

There were initial concerns over whether cricket would return over the summer months as Prime Minister Boris Johnson worried about the sport posing a serious COVID-19 infection risk. 

The PM’s concerns ranged from the cricket ball being a ‘vector of the disease’ to the close proximity of players during lunch and tea breaks in matches. 

However, Mr Johnson reversed his decision last week and announced the return of cricket for this weekend after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport approved plans put forward by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). 

Village cricket’s return follows the start of England’s first Test match against the West Indies which started on Wednesday, which is taking place in Southampton. 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that other recreational sports will be allowed to return when their individual governing bodies can suggest ways to keep social distancing rules.  

There were initial concerns made by the Government about bringing cricket back, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson claiming in June that the cricket ball is a 'vector of the disease'

There were initial concerns made by the Government about bringing cricket back, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson claiming in June that the cricket ball is a 'vector of the disease'

There were initial concerns made by the Government about bringing cricket back, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson claiming in June that the cricket ball is a ‘vector of the disease’

Walking in....sunshine!: Cricket players have also been told to stay away from their team-mates wherever possible under the latest guidelines. (Pictured: players waiting for the ball to drop in Kew, south west London)

Walking in....sunshine!: Cricket players have also been told to stay away from their team-mates wherever possible under the latest guidelines. (Pictured: players waiting for the ball to drop in Kew, south west London)

Walking in….sunshine!: Cricket players have also been told to stay away from their team-mates wherever possible under the latest guidelines. (Pictured: players waiting for the ball to drop in Kew, south west London)

Some cricket clubs, such as at Indian Gymkhana Cricket Club in London, have even put hand sanitiser near the pitch so they can wash their hands

Some cricket clubs, such as at Indian Gymkhana Cricket Club in London, have even put hand sanitiser near the pitch so they can wash their hands

Some cricket clubs, such as at Indian Gymkhana Cricket Club in London, have even put hand sanitiser near the pitch so they can wash their hands 

Matches also took place in Devon (pictured) on Saturday as cricket returned for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began

Matches also took place in Devon (pictured) on Saturday as cricket returned for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began

Matches also took place in Devon (pictured) on Saturday as cricket returned for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began

Watch that beer! A cricket player benefits from the return of cricket AND the pubs reopening this week on Kew Green, south west London on Saturday

Watch that beer! A cricket player benefits from the return of cricket AND the pubs reopening this week on Kew Green, south west London on Saturday

Watch that beer! A cricket player benefits from the return of cricket AND the pubs reopening this week on Kew Green, south west London on Saturday

Swimmers also took a dip in London’s outdoor pools while sun-seekers flocked to the south coast today due to the high temperatures.

Britons waking up to blue skies today splashed about in Hampstead Heath while others took the plunge at Parliament Hill, where a lido has reopened after months of lockdown.

Others headed to the coast to soak up the sunshine at beaches in Bournemouth and Brighton, while campervans were parked and campsites set up in Polzeath, Cornwall after a week of rain and murky skies. 

Forecasters are predicting a ‘fine weekend’ as the Met Office predicts the mercury will continue rising, with temperatures expected to soar as high as 74F (23C) over the coming week. 

Bookmakers Coral also say it is odds on for this month to be the hottest July on record in the UK.

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

A swimmer dives into Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

A swimmer dives into Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

A swimmer dives into Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

A swimmer reacts in Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

A swimmer reacts in Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

A swimmer reacts in Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Staycations could also be back on the menu, with temperatures said to particularly in Wales and the South West today and tomorrow .  

Met Office forecaster Aidan McGivern said: ‘A fine weekend to come for many of us, but for the rest of Friday still some heavy showers about, mainly in the north and the east, sunny spells otherwise, especially in the south and the west. 

‘(Saturday) The best sunshine will be Wales and the south west and cloud will thin out again later in the afternoon. Temperatures reaching 22C, 23C, slightly warmer compared to Friday. 

‘You can see how the cloud tends to thin out on Saturday evening again and a lovely evening once again for many places.’

‘Sunday looks fine for many but there will be some wet weather returning into the north west later in the day.’

Revealing the forecast for today, the Met Office added in a release: ‘A dry and fine start to the day with early sunshine. It will continue largely dry with some sunny spells, although areas of patchy cloud will build during the day and there is the chance of a few showers, particularly for western Scotland, Northern Ireland and north-west England. Mostly gentle winds.

‘It will be a dry and fine evening with late spells of sunshine for most. However, northern Scotland will be cloudier, with rain for the Northern Isles. Overnight will continue dry with long clear spells for most but with further rain for the Northern Isles. Mostly gentle winds but moderate for northern Scotland.’

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Britons waking up to blue skies today went to the north London beauty spot for a swim on the first day of decent summer weather after a week of rain and murky skies

Britons waking up to blue skies today went to the north London beauty spot for a swim on the first day of decent summer weather after a week of rain and murky skies

Britons waking up to blue skies today went to the north London beauty spot for a swim on the first day of decent summer weather after a week of rain and murky skies 

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

Swimmers enter the Hampstead Heath mixed bathing pond in London as it reopens to the public following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England

A swimmer dives into Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

A swimmer dives into Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

A swimmer dives into Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Social distancing measures at Parliament Hill Lido as the outdoor pool reopens today after months of lockdown

Social distancing measures at Parliament Hill Lido as the outdoor pool reopens today after months of lockdown

Social distancing measures at Parliament Hill Lido as the outdoor pool reopens today after months of lockdown 

Others took the plunge at Parliament Hill, where a lido has reopened to the public today after swimmers spent nearly four months cooped up indoors during the coronavirus lockdown

Others took the plunge at Parliament Hill, where a lido has reopened to the public today after swimmers spent nearly four months cooped up indoors during the coronavirus lockdown

Others took the plunge at Parliament Hill, where a lido has reopened to the public today after swimmers spent nearly four months cooped up indoors during the coronavirus lockdown

Looking ahead to tomorrow and Monday, the Met Office added it’ll be ‘mostly fine and sunny’, though there could be some patches of cloud and rain.    

Meanwhile, leading bookmaker Coral makes this month odds on, at 1-2, to be the hottest July on record as the UK prepares for a scorching end to the month.

‘The rain of early July looks set to become a distant memory and we make this month firmly odds on to break the record as the hottest ever,’ said Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead.

Coral also make this summer odds on, at 4-5, to be our warmest yet.’This summer can be one to remember weather wise and looks to have a strong chance of being our warmest of all time,’ added Aitkenhead. 

Directional social distancing signs are seen at Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Directional social distancing signs are seen at Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Directional social distancing signs are seen at Parliament Hill Lido, on the first day of its reopening since the easing of lockdown following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease

Sun-seekers headed to the seaside at Bournemouth beaches to enjoy the sunshine after days of rain and murky skies

Sun-seekers headed to the seaside at Bournemouth beaches to enjoy the sunshine after days of rain and murky skies

Sun-seekers headed to the seaside at Bournemouth beaches to enjoy the sunshine after days of rain and murky skies

People enjoy the sunshine and warm weather on Brighton Beach after a week of rain and dark murky weather

People enjoy the sunshine and warm weather on Brighton Beach after a week of rain and dark murky weather

People enjoy the sunshine and warm weather on Brighton Beach after a week of rain and dark murky weather

Visitors parked their campervans and set up campsites along the coast in Polzeath, Cornwall this morning

Visitors parked their campervans and set up campsites along the coast in Polzeath, Cornwall this morning

Visitors parked their campervans and set up campsites along the coast in Polzeath, Cornwall this morning

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