Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Rain wipes games but heat is off on backlog

A second successive wash-out, even at this early stage of the season, would normally leave clubs in both the NCU and North West panicking about a glut of fixtures ahead but, with only eight teams now in top flight cricket throughout Ireland, the pressure is off.

Indeed, for the first time, the North West union have dispensed with the eight-day rule where clubs have to play league fixtures within the stipulated time frame and have given them the option of rearranging any time before the end of the season.

So, rather than the league games at Coleraine, Donemana, Fox Lodge and Glendermott postponed on Saturday taking place as three-night games, starting tonight or next week, it is up to the respective clubs to agree a date. Only if clubs cannot agree, will the fixtures secretary set a date.

In the NCU, postponed league fixtures must still be played within four weeks but even here there is only one round of games scheduled in the next month because of Irish Cup and Challenge Cup fixtures. Instonians start their defence of the latter trophy on Saturday at home to defending league champions CIYMS in the match of the round.

For the first time, there are no reserve dates for the three rounds of games in the Irish Cup between the first and the final with bowl-outs to decide on the day.

Meanwhile, the announcement of the Ireland A team to play Kent 2nd XI at Canterbury in a three-day game starting next Tuesday has been delayed because of the withdrawal of Lee Nelson, the Waringstown all-rounder, due to work commitments.

The game is the only scheduled Ireland A fixture for the remainder of the season with the selectors using the expanded interprovincial championship as trial games for the national side.

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