Since the ECB announced the move from Stage 3 to Stage 4 on their pathway to the return of recreational cricket, the question on most Huddersfield cricketers’ lips has been... when?!
We can now formally announce our first plan for recommencing local cricket as we launch our adapted form of league cricket, with the first fixtures to be played on Saturday 18th July. Fixtures will run concurrently every Saturday from then until the final round of fixtures on Saturday 12 September. It is proposed that each match will begin at 2pm with a maximum of 30 overs for each team. Longer matches were deeply considered, but to take into account the stoppages for hygiene breaks, time to allow for the new regulations and minimise large congregations of players and spectators we decided that 30 overs was fair.
All clubs were sent a survey to respond if they wished to enter either none, one or two teams into our adapted competition. Over 70% of clubs intend to submit two teams and 95% expect to play at least one of their sides which shows the appetite and desire to recommence playing is overwhelmingly strong around our community. We thank all the club chairmen, secretaries and representatives who responded promptly at such short notice. A further survey will now be distributed for final confirmation along with some general questions with regards to risk assessments at clubs.
The match groups will contain approximately ten teams in each one and will be based around final league placings at the conclusion of the 2019 season. If a club has submitted one team only, it will be based on their 1XI final league placing. Each team will play another team in their group once only.
The Match & Registrations Secretary is currently working on the fixture list which we shall publish as soon as possible. The competition will run using the existing 2019 league rules, although there will be slight adjustments to some of the rules due to the shortened nature and new regulations which must be adhered to.
We understand this format will not suit every club and we appreciate there is still much to do for clubs to meet the new guidelines at grounds that have been set by the ECB. We have worked hard and diligently over many weeks to produce a fair and meaningful tournament which can be run safely.