As new rules are introduced that could see the end of cricket teas as we know them, Thomas Dee takes a light-hearted look at this very British bastion. 

Cricket teas are one of sports greatest traditions, like strawberries and cream at Wimbledon or Guinness at the Cheltenham Festival - but this will no longer be the case.

From the upcoming season it will no longer be mandatory for clubs to provide a cricket tea, instead just offering cold and hot drinks during the 30 minute interval between innings is required.

Teas were suspended as a precaution for part of the 2020 season 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. Following this, a number of clubs felt that putting on a tea was far too difficult due to cost, lack of volunteers, hygiene and dietary requirements.

For many players, the prospect of a nice cricket tea on a hot summers afternoon is just as, if not more, important as playing the game itself. After a long few hours of dropped catches, first ball ducks and dodgy umpiring decisions, it all seems worth it when tucking into that cucumber sandwich and slice of pavlova.

Kieran Bowden, first team captain at Paul Cricket Club, said: “It is disappointing to see cricket teas go from cricket this season as it’s sort of a tradition in cricket where you stop and have teas and with that being taken away is disappointing to see.

“After an innings of cricket, it’s nice to just sit down with your team and have a good chat and some food.

“But I understand with the current circumstances that we are in and having experienced some cricket without teas last season, it was fine and we all still had a good day and a laugh.

On the discussion of what makes a 'proper cricket tea' Bowden said: “A good cricket tea, I suppose it’s down to opinions, like the sandwich fillings can be a bit more exotic in some places whereas some people just like simple stuff like ham or cheese for example.

“Then the rest of the teas are filled up with snack things, fruits and cakes and the occasional pizza depending on where you are playing.

“I’d have to say cricket teas, in my opinion don’t get better than up at Paul CC, which is done by a wonderful group of ladies and the selection is amazing with a range of hot foods, sandwiches, cakes, pizzas, fruits etc.

“I know other teams really enjoy coming here for a cricket tea.

“I wouldn’t say I could pick out one particular cricket club tea that stands out, but I would say most of the clubs in Cornwall that I have played at the cricket teas are always good and wouldn’t be possible without people behind the scenes at those clubs helping out on a match day which is great.”

However, not all players are quite so mad for teas. Penzance Cricket Clubs new signing, Dan Lello, said: "When it comes to teas it's peoples preferences, some people like them and some people will just have them because they are put on.

"Most players will just enjoy the break and socialising between innings, have the chance to take a break from the game and a chance to relax.

"In my opinion, the majority of people last year just enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee and enjoyed their own teas

"If teams put on cold and hot drinks at tea then I don't think anyone will argue that.

"When it comes to teas now in the current Covid climate, the two teams just need to agree on what the plan is so everyone knows what's going on."