Cricket league changes mooted
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
THE Darlington and District Cricket League could have just six teams in its third division next season under proposals to be discussed at the annual meeting on Monday, November 25.
Richmondshire CC IV, who finished just outside the A division relegation places last season, and Spennymoor II, who were bottom of the C division, have resigned from the league.
No new clubs have applied to join the league, however, Lands’s full membership is due to be confirmed.
A proposal from Raby Castle CC and Cockerton CC says the A and B divisions should be made up of 12 teams.
The C division would then consist of Aldbrough St John II, Cockerton II, Eryholme, Etherley, Middleton St George II and Middleton Tyas.
The league’s executive committee says that if this structure is agreed, the C division teams would play each other four times during the season. Aldbrough St John is further proposing that C division games could be reduced from 40 overs to 30 with the agreement of both captains
A raft of other proposed rule changes will come under discussion at the meeting, which takes place at Darlington CC.
Middleton-in-Teesdale CC is calling for a change in the rules for deciding weather-hit cup games.
Currently, if the tie is rained off and cannot be rearranged within a week, it is decided by the toss of a coin.
Middleton-in-Teesdale’s idea is to decide the tie by a one-over bowl-off at a set of stumps. If the score is level after an over, it becomes sudden death.
The league’s executive committee is also proposing a change to the playing conditions in the Cec Leece Cup.
Sides in all three divisions are entered into this knock-out competition and the executive committee is suggesting a handicap system which could give lower division sides a 40-run head start against higher rated opponents.
Raby Castle CC is calling for the introduction of fielding restrictions for 20-over competitions.
Only two fielders would be allowed outside a 30-yard circle during the first five overs and then no more than four for the remaining 15.
For clubs with small boundaries, the fielding circle would be half way to the boundary.
Another attempt to bring forward the start time of league games is being made – Cliffe CC is proposing 1.30pm instead of the current 2pm.
Various amendments to the number of points awarded in abandoned, drawn or cancelled matches have been put forward.
Middleton-in-Teesdale says bonus points for runs scored by a losing side should be altered. A maximum of five would still be available as is currently the case, but to get the full five, a team would need to score 200.
Raby Castle wants to see extra points for teams bowling second if they take all ten wickets.
Sides batting second which are not bowled out would also receive extra points under Raby’s proposals.
Cliffe’s Chris picks up first team player of year award
TOP order batsman and some time wicket keeper Chris Easby was named first team player of the season when Cliffe CC held their annual presentation evening last weekend.
Ben Howe picked up the trophy for first team bowling, while Tom Adamson received the batting award.
Paul Gaffney took the second team player of the year accolade as well as carrying off the bowling award.
The useful runs scored by Bailey Besford – 227 in 11 innings at a strike rate of 55 – helped him win the young player of the year award. The Piercebridge club enjoyed a good year in the Darlington and District Cricket League A Division, although a seventh place finish probably doesn't reflect some excellent performances.
The second team also had a decent campaign, finishing fifth in the B division, just six points behind Middleton-in-Teesdale.