Cricket tea is one of the greatest sports traditions, like strawberries and cream at Wimbledon or Guinness at Cheltenham Festival – but this will no longer be the case.
Starting next season, clubs will no longer be required to provide cricket tea, instead only offering cold and hot drinks for the 30 minutes between innings.
The tea was suspended for part of the 2020 season as a precaution due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Players were encouraged to bring their own food when the sport resumed in July due to these Covid restrictions. After this, a number of clubs felt that making tea was too difficult due to the costs, lack of volunteers, hygiene and dietary requirements.
For many players, the prospect of a nice cricket tea on a hot summer afternoon is just as, if not more important, than playing the game itself. After a few hours of fallen catches, first bald ducks, and dodgy umpire decisions, it all seems worth it when you get into that cucumber sandwich and slice of pavlova.
Kieran Bowden, first team captain at Paul Cricket Club, said: “It is disappointing to see cricket tea disappear this season as it is kind of a tradition in cricket where you stop to drink tea and that taking it away is disappointing to to see. .
“After an innings cricket, it’s nice to just sit down with your team and have a good chat and something to eat.
“But I understand that with the current conditions we are in and experienced cricket without tea last season, it was fine and we all still had a good day and a laugh.
On the discussion of what makes a ‘real cricket tea,’ Bowden said, “A good cricket tea, I guess it has to do with opinions, as the sandwich fillings can be a bit more exotic in some places, while some people just like simple things like ham or cheese for example.
“Then the rest of the tea is filled with snacks, fruit and pastries and the occasional pizza, depending on where you play.
“I should say cricket teas in my opinion it doesn’t get any better than Paul CC which is done by a great group of ladies and the selection is great with a range of hot dishes, sandwiches, cakes, pizzas, fruits etc.
“I know other teams really enjoy coming here and drinking cricket tea.
“I wouldn’t say I could pick a particular cricket club tea that stands out, but I would say most of the Cornish clubs I’ve played at the cricket teas are always good and wouldn’t be possible without people behind the scenes at that clubs that help on match day, which is great. ”
However, not all players are so fond of tea. Penzance Cricket Clubs new addition, Dan Lello, said: “When it comes to tea, it is people’s preferences, some people like them and some people will just have them because they are attracted.
“Most players will just enjoy the intermission and socializing between innings, getting a chance to take a break from the game and a chance to relax.
“In my opinion the majority of people just enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee and their own tea last year
“If teams put cold and hot drinks with the tea, I don’t think anyone will argue.
“Now when it comes to tea in the current Covid climate, the two teams just need to agree on what the plan is so everyone knows what’s going on.”
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