By Jamie Harrison

The Huddersfield Cricket League plans to start the new season on April 17 – as long as Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown remains the same. 

The league’s Executive Committee has decided to start the cricket season on time with no delay, subject to confirmation when the 2021 Covid guidance is received from the ECB.

However, it is expected that this guidance will impose restrictions on the use of facilities and certain aspects of matchplay during the early part of the season.

After deep consideration and following discussions with officials at many clubs, a full programme of league fixtures, including the normal promotion and relegation, along with all applicable cup competitions is being planned for.

With the likely restrictions in mind it has been decided to begin the season with some slightly adapted playing conditions. There will be an initial “Restricted Period”, when the league expects facilities such as dressing rooms, tea rooms and clubhouses will be deemed out of bounds due to Government restrictions.

Spot the ball? Pictures by SEAN DOYLE

1st XI competition matches and associated cup ties will be reduced to 40 overs per side with 2nd X1 competition matches and associated cup ties being reduced to 35 overs per side. The overs restrictions per bowler in these competitions will be in line with delayed or interrupted matches as per standard league rules in each separate competition. 

T20 Trophy and Shield matches which are scheduled to take place in the “Restricted Period” will remain unaltered. In view of the lack of appropriate indoor facilities during the “Restricted Period”, on days when there are interruptions during matches due to inclement weather, and with the health and wellbeing of players, officials and spectators being of paramount importance, it is likely the league will continue with the rules used for last year’s T30 format for “Cancelled, Abandoned, Delayed or Interrupted” games along with the rule for determining a result in such circumstances. 

  • Watch out for the Huddersfield Cricket League’s own podcast where chairman Trevor Atkinson and general secretary Norman Clee will discuss the start to the season and more.