Hopes of a summer return for local sport have taken a hit after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it would be “difficult” to do so.

All sport in the country was suspended last month due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which has claimed more than 20,000 lives in the UK.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Mr Raab – who has been deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the daily government briefings while he recovers from coronavirus – said that it would be difficult for amateur sport to return due to the “level and scale of interaction”.

He said: “[A return would be] very difficult because of the level and scale of interaction.

"I think the professional sport may be different because of the scale of testing that they would be able to introduce.

"We do want to look when it is safe and responsible at ways to allow more outdoors activities to take place, but again we have to have the evidence that it is a sure-footed step that does not allow coronavirus to get a grip back on the country."

This concession would be a huge blow for local cricket, with this set to cast major doubts over whether the 2020 season will even begin.

The Cornwall Cricket League season was due to begin on April 18 and end on September 12.

The England & Wales Cricket Board has pushed back the resumption of the professional game from May 28 until at least July 1, while the recreational game has been suspended “until further notice”.

The start of the 2020/21 football and rugby seasons could also be impacted by this declaration, with any continued ban on sport over the summer meaning pre-season training could be pushed back to September or later, which in turn would see the start of the season delayed.

The 2019/20 season in steps three to seven of the National League System in English football were declared null and void on March 26, with the national rugby union season having come to an early end on March 20, with its promotions and relegations being decided by a best playing record method.

Neither sport has made any official announcement on their plans for next season. The football season would normally begin in early August, with rugby getting underway a month later.