UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that recreational cricket will not resume because of factors including ‘teas and dressing room’ that promote proximity. The explanation hasn’t gone down well with the cricketing community with former cricketers and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) responding to his criticism.

Speaking to LBC radio on Friday Johnson said, “There are various other considerations. The longer answer which I think probably Chris Whitty (chief medical officer) would give, if he were here, about cricket the risk is not so much the ball, although that may be a factor.”

“It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he added.

In their response, ECB said cricket is a non-contact sport with low risks of exposure.

“The ECB believes that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other activities being currently permitted,” ECB said. “The detailed submission we have shared with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport includes advice on how we can stage cricket safely and mitigate all potential risks.”

“We believe this advice allied with strict hygiene measures means recreational cricket should be viewed as safe by the UK government, which would be welcome news to our nation’s recreational cricketers,” it added.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan slammed Johnson’s explanation calling it ‘utter garbage’.

“Utter garbage from the PM … he has no clue the damage he is doing to the game … but from tomorrow everyone can get smashed inside pubs … doesn’t make any sense,” Vaughan wrote on his Twitter handle.

In another tweet, Vaughan said tea and dressing rooms aren’t required in shorter format games and urged him to allow the resumption of recreational cricket.

“The ball is now NOT the risk @BorisJohnson !!!!! But Teas & dressing rooms are … Short format games don’t require Teas or the use of dressing rooms BORIS … Utter garbage … Get the Recreational game back started,” he wrote.