The NCU’s Cricket Developement Director accused the clubs of not supporting their union last night after a motion to change to eight-team leagues from 2011 did not achieve the neccessary majority.
Although the proposal was supported by 50 delegates to 39, it failed by four votes to have 60% support. A survey carried out by the directorate had shown 70% backing, although 11 clubs did not return forms.
Director Andy Clement said: “The vote was not cast in favour of NCU cricket. Rather, clubs voted in their local interests.
“The Development Directorate have worked hard to further cricket in the NCU but tonight we have found that while clubs may say ‘yes’ for change on paper they have voted ‘no’ with their hands.”
The other major changes were supported at the annual meeting which was chaired by new president Dr Murray Power.
Only the top two leagues will contest the Challenge Cup next season and the final will remain a one-innings match.
Rearranged league games can be reduced to five overs per side.
The new NCU chairman is Roger Bell, the vice chairman is Brian Walsh and Chris Harte is the new vice president.
Outgoing president Ian Gourley was elected a life member.