The Northern Cricket Union is set to be reduced to eight-team leagues from 2011. A survey of clubs by the union’s Cricket Development Directorate, exclusively revealed today by the Belfast Telegraph, reveals that, of the 70% who replied, almost three-quarters are in favour of the new set-up.
A vote will be taken at tomorrow’s night’s annual meeting and if 60% of the delegates vote in favour of the CDD’s proposal then it will take effect from the season after next.
If the serial is passed, reducing each of the top three leagues by two teams — although the top 16 would make up a two-division Premier League — there will be another vote taken to determine whether to maintain two-up, two-down or change back to only one promotion and relegation place.
Other proposed changes at tomorrow’s meeting include restricting the Challenge Cup to just Premier League and Section One teams next season and to end the use of Duckworth/Lewis in rain-affected matches, reverting instead to the continuation in midweek of unfinished cup games.
The management board will ask for confirmation that the Challenge Cup and Junior Cup finals continue, on a permanent basis, as one-innings games.
Meanwhile, Nigel Jones was the big winner at the NCU annual dinner on Saturday night. The Civil Service North captain won the batsman of the year and the all-rounder of the year award. Instonians captain Eugene Moleon was the bowler of the year and North Down skipper Peter Shields was top wicket-keeper for the second successive season.
There was a North Down double for the Michael Maultsaid awards, which go to the top batting and bowling performances in the Challenge Cup, with Iain Robertson (118 v Woodvale) and Taimur Khan (6-15 v Bangor) the respective winners.
The Under 15 Player of the Year was Holywood’s Ross Adair and Luke Wilmott of Cooke Collegians received the NIACUS (umpires and scorers’ association) Fair Play trophy.