Trevor Atkinson has been given a resounding vote of confidence to continue as chairman of the Huddersfield Cricket League.

Mr Atkinson, who has been chairman for 10 years, faced a challenge from Holmfirth’s Chris Ridler but was re-elected 32-9 in a vote of members.

Mr Atkinson has pledged to continue to drive the league forward and said: “I am pleased that the members have put their faith in me and want me to continue in my role as chairman.

“I believe we have made huge strides in the previous 10 years moving the league forward and I’m certainly excited about what we can achieve over the next few years.”

Mr Ridler, who aimed to bring about change and modernisation in the league, said: “Although nine votes looks a small amount I am happy with it.

“I thought I could have got more but the list of people who voted for me is quite interesting, there are some clubs who I thought wouldn’t vote for me but have and vice versa.

“If everyone who said they were going to vote for me would have, plus these others, it would have been a much tighter contest.

“I think the main thing is that we have managed to push through some of the rule changes I have been wanting to push through for a number of years now, such as an early abandonment of games if the weather is bad.”

Mr Atkinson, meanwhile, says he will get on with the job in hand as he continues to steer the league out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added: “I would again like to place on record my thanks to every club in the league for their trust in me and for their hard work over recent months. I have a great team behind me on the executive board.”

Honley v Delph Huddersfield Cricket League. Pic by: Sean Doyle

At the league’s annual meeting, clubs gave a proposal to reduce the Premiership from 14 clubs to 12 their approval. There were also another 12 rule changes agreed including a cut in the number of Sunday matches for the Premiership.

The reduction in clubs in means that in the 2022 season there will be three relegation spots in most divisions apart from the Conference.

The winners of Premiership Two will gain promotion to the Conference and from season 2023 it will revert to a “two up two down” promotion and relegation system between all seven divisions.

Any 2XI team cannot play higher than the Conference and no 1XI team will play at a level lower than Premiership Two.

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The league restructure was one of seven proposals presented by the Executive Committee and all of them were rubber-stamped; some by an overwhelming majority.

All Associate Member clubs who joined following the dissolvement of the Huddersfield Central League in 2016 have been upgraded to full members of the league – that’s Holmbridge, Edgerton & Dalton, Cartworth Moor and Flockton. Nortonthorpe has folded and quit the league.

Other proposals from the committee to see reality next season are a permanent addition of two rules that were considered a success after being installed temporarily during the months under Covid-19 restrictions.

One allowed an early abandonment of 1XI matches on the morning of a match and another was a reduction of match overs in anticipation of bad weather.

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Both were enthusiastically welcomed carrying with majorities of 92%. Teams taking advantage of a full six-point allocation in the event of their opponents conceding will now only get that chance should at least another match in the same division be completed.

In the event of a full washout, both teams will be given two points each under this new rule which saw nearly 90% of clubs in favour.

Most proposals from clubs were rejected. These included a bid to start all matches at 12 noon and a ‘fair play’ rule submitted by one club hit the buffers with only 12 clubs getting behind the proposed scheme. No club was to spend more than 40% of their annual revenue on players and would have been required to send account statements and player contracts to the league.