A PROFESSIONAL cricketer and coach from Whitchurch has expressed her concerns over the government’s help for the self-employed.

Evelyn Jones, 27, lives in and plays for Whitchurch, and will be moving to Birmingham Phoenix from Lancashire to play in this year’s The Hundred

Late last year she launched her own cricket coaching business, but her plans have been thrown into disarray by the outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe.

In light of the pandemic, all sporting events for the foreseeable future have been cancelled, and all non-essential businesses have been forced to close.

For Evelyn, a long period of uncertainty awaits because of these measures, but while she is currently unable to play or run her business, she is doing her best to keep her fitness up.

“The main impact is not being able to train properly, to having a net to bat or bowl,” she said.

“I’m doing a lot of fitness still and doing a few runs around town and I’ve got quite a bit of coaching equipment so I’m keeping up my skills as much as I can.

“I can train as much as I like, but it’s just about trying to keep as busy as possible.”

The effect of the COVID-19 outbreak has been a surprise, to Evelyn, as it has to many others. Like many others, earlier in the year the outbreak of COVID-19 seemed as though it would not affect the UK.

But it soon reached the UK’s shores, and this meant the cancellation of various sporting events, all of which came as a surprise to Evelyn, as it did many others.

“To begin with didn’t think it was going to get as bad as it did,” she added. “I didn’t think leagues would be put off. It’s been a challenging time not knowing what’s going to happen.

“I’m hoping they’re going to play The Hundred in July, but I’m not sure if they’re going to go ahead. There are other games before then that might need to be played.

“It’s just a case of waiting and seeing. I hope everyone stays indoors so we can get through this a bit faster.”

Not being able to play has been a blow for Evelyn, but the biggest impact has been on her coaching career.

The financial package brought in by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to help the self-employed relies on having three years worth of paperwork.

“I only recently went self-employed with my coaching, so I’ve been affected by it,” added Evelyn.

“I’m on a playing contract with the cricket, but I’m not sure what will happen with that.

“I don’t think I can get anything, being self-employed you need three years worth of accounts, but I only went in September so I don’t qualify for that. I’m a bit in-between, I’ve got savings and I’m not spending too much lately.

“At the moment it’s not too bad, but it will probably be a worrying time in a few weeks.”