New-look Beckett League format revealed at AGM

Staxton, fielding, will be looking to take the title away from premier division champions Staithes, batting
Staxton, fielding, will be looking to take the title away from premier division champions Staithes, batting

The new six-division format was confirmed at this evening’s Readers Scarborough Beckett Cricket League AGM at the Downe Arms, Wykeham

The six-division format accomodates the teams who have moved into the league after the almagamation with the Derwent Valley League, with 57 teams now in the Beckett League.

The premier division has 12 teams, which will include additional Sunday fixtures, playing each other on a home and away basis, while Divisions One and Two will consist of 10 teams.

League secretary Simon Dobson, speaking at the meeting, said: “The premier division season will start on a Sunday, April 24, before the other divisions, and will finish on a Sunday, September 4, after the other divisions end.”

The top flight will also play on Sundays July 10 and July 24.

Division Three will have nine sides and Divisions Four and Five will have eight teams apiece. Teams will be allocated four additional fixtures to fulfil an 18-week season.

Dobson also spoke of his concern that there were reports of players drinking during cricket matches and being under the influence while playing.

He also voiced his disappointment of reports of players directing crude language at umpires, and of the need for more umpires for the top two divisions’ matches.

The member clubs recognised the service of former league secretary John Crossland and Derwent Valley Cricket League secretary Bernard Goulding with a special presentations during the meeting.

The duo both received gifts from the league and the clubs in recognition of their many years of service.

Goulding, who served as secretary of the DVL for 38 years before it was wound up last November, has replaced Crossland on the Beckett League committee.

Crossland, who has served many other roles as well as secretary during his 25-year spell on the committee was also awarded with an honorary life membership of the league.

Two new rules were passed at the meeting. The first was a committee-proposed a rule change, allowing rain affected matches to be played to a minimum of 25 overs as opposed to the present 30 overs rule. This was passed 27 votes to six.

The second change was a rule alteration proposed by Sewerby, this proposed a change to the 15-over ruling which states a player who arrives after the 15th over can only be a fielder.

Sewerby’s change to this rule, changed it to the 20th over and it was narrowly carried by 18 votes to 15.

Cloughton’s proposal that the lower divisions, Four and Five, should play 30-over matches with a five-over limit per bowler and a 1.30pm start, was defeated 28 votes to five.

Sewerby also proposed that start times be switched back to 2pm from the current 1.30pm start time, but this was narrowly defeated 19-14.

Staithes’ proposal of saying that a win should count for the full 20 points with bonus points only applying to the losing team or in tied games was defeated 23-10.

Four committee directives were also announced at the meeting.

The first states that no junior players, under the age of 16, should umpire in the games, unless both captains agree prior to the toss for the choice of innings.

The second says each club must complete an official team card and exchange signatures prior to the toss, and team cards are to be submitted online using the results centre. In matches where panel umpires are standing, the club captains must hand the cards to the umpires who will enter the team card on the results centre.

The third change will see games that end in a tied score in T20 Cayley Cup games will be decided on the following;

A) Teams losing the fewer wickets.

B) Teams conceding the fewest extras.

C) Team scoring the most runs in the powerplay (first six overs).

D) Team bowling the fewest wides.

E) Team scoring the highest boundary aggregate.

In the semi-finals and finals where panel umpires are officiating a super over will take place.

The fourth and final directive states that all Cayley Cup semi-finals and finals are to be played on fixed dates set by the competition secretary.

The Yorkshire Cricket Board’s North Yorkshire Cricket Development Manager Richard Wilkinson addressed clubs at the end of the meeting to offer them help and advice, especially focusing on cricket development within this area.

Readers Scarborough Beckett Cricket League constitution for the 2016 season

Premier Division (12 teams): Cayton, Ebberston, Filey, Flixton 2nds, Forge Valley, Heslerton, Mulgrave (promoted in 2015), Nawton Grange, Scalby, Seamer (promoted in 2015), Staithes, Staxton.

Division One (10 teams): Brompton, Cayton 2nds, Cloughton, Grindale, Settrington, Sherburn, Staxton 2nds (promoted in 2015), Thornton Dale (promoted in 2015), Wold Newton, Wykeham.

Division Two (10 teams): Bridlington 2nds, Ebberston 2nds (promoted in 2015), Forge Valley 2nds, Fylingdales, Ganton, Great Habton (promoted in 2015), Ravenscar, Scalby 2nds, Scarborough 3rds, Sewerby 2nds.

Division Three (nine teams): Flamborough, Flixton 3rds (promoted in 2015), Heslerton 2nds, Kirkbymoorside (promoted in 2015), Muston, Nawton Grange 2nds (promoted in 2015), Ryedale, Seamer 2nds, Wykeham 2nds.

Division Four (eight teams): Cayton 3rds (promoted in 2015), Cloughton 2nds (relegated in 2015), Filey 2nds, Hospitals/Rugby Club, Lockton, Sherburn 2nds, Snainton (promoted in 2015), Wold Newton 2nds.

Division Five (eight teams): Forge Valley 3rds (relegated) in 2015), Ganton 2nds, Muston 2nds, Ravenscar 2nds, Scalby 3rds, Thornton Dale 2nds, Valley Bar Nomads, Wykeham 3rds.