End of an era as village cricket clubs vote to ditch traditional teas
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
VILLAGE cricketers have voted to end that most traditional part of the game – the tea between innings.
At the annual meeting of the Darlington and District Cricket League, clubs agreed there should be no obligation to provide teas during Saturday afternoon matches.
It was a close-run thing with league president Brian Jones using his casting vote to side with those who wished to drop the need for teas and carry the proposal.
While some clubs saw the decision as a sad day for village cricket, others pointed out that for the past two seasons teas had not been provided due to the Covid regulations governing playing conditions and the use of pavilions.
Under these rules, anyone wanting tea had to bring their own and that is how the break between innings will operate from now on.
Meanwhile, a decision on the structure of divisions was put off until the new year when an extraordinary general meeting will be held to discuss the situation.
Northallerton CC have applied for their third team to join the league.
That would make a total of 28 teams in the league.
Officials will be keen to avoid a repeat of the 2021 season, which saw teams drop out after the fixtures had been produced – and in the case of West Park RA, once the season had begun.
Whether to run two divisions or three will also be under discussion. Last season, there were just six teams in the C division, with each side playing the other four times, while the A division ended up with ten teams and the B division 11. A proposal to reduce the number of teams in the A division further was withdrawn in light of the decision to hold an EGM.
Among the other proposals, clubs voted against introducing free hits for no balls and plans to introduce fielding restrictions were also rejected.
A proposal to extend the time for cup fixtures to be played in the event of a postponement to ten days was agreed and a loan system for players in the lower divisions was also accepted.
After 11 years at the helm, Mr Jones announced he would be standing down at the 2022 annual meeting.
It was also noted that the league has no sponsor for the 2022 season.