CORONAVIRUS has shattered lives, brought about untold economic damage, and highlighted the heroism of many within the medical and care industries.

We should bear that bigger picture in mind when we talk about the disruption to sport, which can seem trivial in such times as these.

But sport means so much to so many, and can do wonders for people’s mental and physical health.

Sport’s absence has left a hole in many people’s lives, not least cricketers and cricket fans, who may be facing a summer without the game they love.

The Somerset Cricket League was due to start this coming Saturday, with the West of England Premier League (WEPL) to follow the weekend after.

We spoke to Adrian Hopper, of North Perrott Cricket Club, to get an insight into how the club had been affected.

North Perrott’s 1st XI were due to play in WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset this season, with 2nd and 3rd XIs in the Somerset League, and so this time of year would normally be a very busy one at the club.

Hopper said: “We had two friendlies lined up, we’d be having net practices twice a week, and there would be a lot of work taking place on the pitch.

“[Head groundsman] Tom Parkman is still doing that work, in fact.

“You can’t just leave a wicket until next season, as it would be a right mess!”

Parkman’s work on the ground should ensure that it is ready to host cricket whenever the all-clear is given - but that could be a while yet.

“Personally I don’t think we’ll get much cricket, possibly just friendlies in August and September,” said Hopper.

“But you never know - we’re in completely new territory here.

“We were to have an overseas player from India, but of course that’s been knocked on the head now.

“We are due to host a big cup game between Dorset and Hampshire, which is scheduled for July 17 and hasn’t yet been cancelled.”

In terms of the financial side of things, Hopper added: “I think we are reasonably OK.

“There’s no subs or bar revenue - and that makes a big difference - and while we don’t have as many cricket expenses, there’s still rates and other costs to pay.

“We’re not looking at loans, but if there’s ECB grants available, then that’s a possibility.”

Another concern for clubs is player retention after a period of inactivity, but Hopper is hopeful that North Perrott’s members will stick around.

“We are a strong, close-knit group, and we have apps that allow us to interact.

“We had a club quiz on Zoom on Saturday, and raised £100 for the NHS.

“We’re very lucky to have a lovely ground and pavilion - when the weather’s nice, there’s no better place to be.

“People will be champing at the bit once we’re given the all-clear, but if there’s still social distancing in place, that will make cricket, football or any sport difficult.”