Players must decide on match formats in Craven League, says league secretary

Craven Herald: Craven League secretary Ann Coe says the solution over match formats is in the hands of the players Craven League secretary Ann Coe says the solution over match formats is in the hands of the players

On the back of a season in which 39 fixtures were conceded in league or cup, Mewies Solicitors Craven League secretary Ann Coe said the League must listen to the players in order to find a solution to the problem.

In her annual report, Coe said: “I don't really understand what happened in July, but for some reason clubs started to concede matches, and this gradually got worse as the season progressed.

“Trevor (fixture secretary Coe) has all the statistics and tells me we lost 39 fixtures in the league and cup competitions. I wouldn't like to try and begin to explain what went wrong in the second half of the season - all I know is we need to work and find a solution.

“Do our cricketers want to play less overs, play less games, start earlier so they have their Saturday nights free to socialise and not play on a Sunday?

“I don't know what they want but I do know that as a league we have to listen to the players, we have to provide them with a form of cricket they want, otherwise we won't survive.

“The executive committee’s first attempt at change is the cup competitions. Clubs are invited to enter this year, rather than it being compulsory.

“We will know in January if enough clubs are interested in competing or not.”

Much better news concerned the Manorlands Plate match (an internal battle between Yorkshire and Lancashire-based players from the Craven League), the league dinner, the Nidderdale Show and the league’s new disciplinary rules.

Coe said: “Nick Burton had a cracking idea to have a Lancashire Select team play a Yorkshire Select team.

“I know Yorkshire won convincingly, but this is too good an idea to scrap. I propose that we play it again next year and maybe get the batters to retire at 50, and what I would love is a stronger team for the Lancashire side.

“So I appeal to some of those Lancashire lads who moaned after the event that the league had no intention of letting Lancashire win - come out and play and help us raise money for the hospice.

“The Nidderdale Show invited us to play again, which I consider is still an honour to be chosen.

“The weather was wonderful and our league put out our strongest side for a few years and we won by 74 runs in a high-scoring game.

“The league dinner was quiet simply fantastic. The venue was wonderful, the food was tremendous and didn't the trophies look stunning on that stage!

“We have found our new home at Rolls Royce and, as agreed at the last meeting, I have booked again for next year on Friday, October 17, so please pencil that date in your diaries.

“Our new disciplinary rules that see clubs dealing with problems before they get to the league is working well.

“Those clubs who have had disciplinary issues this season are to be congratulated on how they handled the issues.”

Coe also wished Cullingworth good luck in the Halifax League, and hoped that newcomers Hepworth & Idle settle well in the Craven League and have many years of enjoyable cricket.


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