Beckett League offer clubs early Saturday kick-off option ahead of England v Russia match

Beckett League
Beckett League

The Readers Scarborough Beckett Cricket League have offered clubs the chance to start 30 minutes earlier this Saturday to ensure they get chance to watch the England v Russia Euro 2016 game.

League secretary Simon Dobson said: "As England start their European Championships campaign on Saturday, against Russia at 8pm, I acknowledge a large proportion of cricketers will want to see the action. While the league are here to provide and promote cricket for all levels, there is an acceptance that a major tournament like the Euro’s captures peoples imagination.

"As part of #get the game on I can confirm that the league will allow games to start half an hour earlier should clubs wish to do so. Therefore, Premier Division, Division One, Division Two and Division Three, matches can start at 1pm, while Division Four and Five matches can start at 1:30pm. This is for one week only.

Dobson added: "I believe this offer of an earlier start, coupled with teams achieving the minimum requirement of 17 overs per hour should see all games finish on or before 7pm, allowing time for the majority of players to view the match should they wish. This should act as an incentive for players to turn out without the risk of missing the football."

The league have issued a few conditions to this option; both clubs/teams must liaise and be in full agreement, groundsmen and tea ladies must be consulted and in full agreement and in Premier Division and Division One games where panel umpires are officiating both umpires must be consulted and in full agreement.

Dobson added: "It is recommended that conversations and discussions between the above start immediately. The league will not be part of any discussions. Should any of the above be against the early start, the game must commence at the regular time.

"I would also like to confirm that reduced over matches cannot be played, unless the match is rain affected and Clubs follow the league ruling. Tea must be taken in the event of play."

The league secretary said: "May I also remind home teams to ensure the result of the match is submitted, clearly and accurately using the online results centre as soon as possible following completion of the match. This will enable me to get the results done in an efficient manner and I won’t have to chase teams or individuals for scores and summaries while the football is taking place. Unfortunately I won’t be able to view the match as I will be doing league work, therefore your assistance on this request would be warmly welcomed."

Looking ahead, should England win their respective group, they will play on Saturday June 25 at 5pm, and Dobson confirmed the league will discuss this when the committee meets in the next couple of weeks, but in given the start time, it is going to be tricky for the committee to accommodate this match and clubs will not be allowed to alter fixtures on this date without valid reason.