Huddersfield Cricket League chairman Trevor Atkinson is looking forward to a fierce Sykes Cup Final on Sunday August 9. 

The final is contested by Premiership title challengers Hoylandswaine and Moorlands and Mr Atkinson believes it will be an intriguing battle.

“It should be a great event between two great sides,” he said. “People may make ‘Swaine the favourites but Moorlands have had a great season. It’s all good for local cricket.” 

The final will be made free entry due to Covid restrictions and so it will add a different dimension to this year’s showpiece event. 

Mr Atkinson said: “It will be a final like no other, we are going to make it free entry so I really don’t know what crowd we can expect.”

The final is being held at Honley but from next year it will move to Shepley then Armitage Bridge in 2023. In recent times it’s been staged alternately at Elland and Honley. The last time it wasn’t staged at either Elland or Honley was 1991, when Slaithwaite hosted.

The league has superbly dealt with the Covid restrictions that not just the Government but the ECB have placed on them. Mr Atkinson is pleased at how the season has panned out so far. 

“I think overall everyone has done a great job and thanks to the clubs for being so good about things,” he said. “It’s quite interesting really because Covid has thrown up some questions about how we move the game forward. 

“We set the game at 40 overs to begin with this season and then slowly moved it up to 50 overs. Most leagues that want to be taken seriously play at 50 overs, and we certainly want to be taken seriously.

“What’s interesting, though, is that the Premiership clubs wanted it to go back to 50 overs quite quickly, however the other divisions wanted to keep it at 40 overs. Obviously playing less overs means the game finishes earlier. 

“The older generation like the 50 overs, but the younger players like the 40 overs. They like to finish early and then still have the evening to go out drinking with friends, partners or family. 

Honley v Delph in the Huddersfield Cricket League

“The days of lads spending nine hours at cricket, going home and doing it all the next day are dwindling. Maybe we need to adapt. It’s a conversation we need to have as a board and with our members.”

The weather this summer hasn’t been the best overall but Mr Atkinson said there had only been two really bad days. He has known six or seven days to be a complete wash-out in a season before.

“We’ve had a good year for weather really,” he said. “I’ve known it be a lot worse!”

Mr Atkinson is also pleased to see how competitive every division has been this season. 

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed every division. There has been some truly exceptional cricket played. In the Premiership you have a good race for the title between ‘Swaine and Moorlands. You then have clubs like Golcar and Thongsbridge who have had good seasons. 

“The Championship has been the most competitive it’s ever been, which is just brilliant to see. Local cricket in Huddersfield is as strong as ever and it’s just fantastic.”