Council investigating cricket tournament during coronavirus suspension

Council chiefs are investigating a cricket tournament in Lancashire which saw 200 people gather from as far away as Birmingham amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The event took place at Pleasington Playing Fields near Blackburn on Sunday.

Mohammed Khan, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “The organisers had not sought permission, it was highly irresponsible and we understand involved teams who travelled from as far away as Birmingham.

“As far as the council is concerned they were trespassing to make money. They left the field a mess with rubbish and they are not welcome in Blackburn.

“At this moment all team sports are suspended due to coronavirus. The council has a strong relationship with the various leagues and their organisers, this event is in no way connected to them. We have had fantastic cooperation and support from the vast majority of groups who work with us on a regular basis.

“It’s really disappointing and worrying that a small minority of people think it’s OK to organise an event without permission and risk the safety of others.

“The support we offer event organisers is there to help make events safe and successful. These apply to everybody and at the moment we have the added concern of spreading a deadly virus to consider. The only way we can avoid the infection rate rising is to follow all the guidance around social distancing, hygiene and staying at home when symptoms start.

“We know that people from a BAME (black, Asian or minority ethnic) background are at an increased risk of contracting the virus.”

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