Cricket league survives its 'greatest test'
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
THE Darlington and District Cricket League has survived the greatest test of its resilience in its 60-year history.
President Brian Jones told the league's annual meeting that while the difficulties faced by the league were a “minor inconvenience” compared to the suffering of those affected by the Covid-19 virus, from a cricketing point of view, the challenges were greater that those posed by foot and mouth in 2001 and the near wash-out of 2014.
With half a season lost before games were given the go-ahead, Mr Jones praised the “great teamwork” between the league’s officers and club secretaries in organising a two-division structure and cup competitions in the time available.
Due to the restriction imposed on clubs, games were restricted to a maximum of 30 overs a side and there was no tea interval. Pavilions were out of bounds about from bathroom facilities.
“It was a great credit to all clubs that they could organise risk assessments and there were only seven games cancelled,” said Mr Jones.
“The fact we were able to play at all was due to the dedication of those behind the scenes. I would like to thank all officers who supported efforts to get the game on in such a short space of time.
“It seems there may be light at the end of the tunnel due to the vaccine trials and we are hoping 2021 will be a better year for all of us.”
Due to the make-up of the league, with some clubs not entering teams, and the shortened season, Mr Jones said the league's executive committee decide it was not appropriate to award the traditional trophies but instead one-off cups were handed out.
Mr Jones concluded: “Thank you for the great support for last year and making it so successful. It was tremendous.”
League secretary Martin Vickerman said the shortened season had been non-contentious with not a single disciplinary issue raised with the executive.
“Despite the challenges, teams did their utmost to get the games on, so thanks to all club secretaries and captains who supported me.”
The meeting was told the league had made a £623.80 loss. It was pointed out that while club qualified for financial support, the league did not. Mr Jones said the executive had decided not to levy league fees for the abridged season.
“We did not know what was going on and wanted to make things as easy as possible for the clubs.
“The year end balance is down a bit but we are not in a bad situation.”