MATCHES in the Mewies Solicitors Craven League will start half an hour earlier next season.

A move from wickets pitched at 2pm to 1.30pm has been a proposed rule change for a number of years and has been rejected due to players working on Saturday mornings or groundsman having less time to prepare wickets or outfields.

However, it sailed through 16-8 at the league's annual meeting at Cross Hills Social Club on a night when all 14 proposed rule changes went through.

Matches in September will still also start at 1.30pm, rather than reverting to 1pm.

Skipton CI's proposed rule changes regarding loan players were passed with hardly a dissenting voice.

Now if a club has more than four loan players in their 11 the game will go ahead but will be conceded by that club, with the points awarded to the opposition, and played as a friendly.

That was passed 23-1, while a rule to prevent players organising their loan without the knowledge of their parent club (as happened in 2019) was passed 27-1.

Loans must now be notified to the league secretary or fixture secretary by the secretary or team captain.

The 15 minutes of grace once a match has started before overs will be lost from the overall total has disappeared.

Overs can now be deducted from 1.30pm, with the tally there being 18 for and five against.

Umpires are now the sole arbiters - from the toss onwards - of whether conditions are favourable for play to start or continue.

That proposed rule change was passed 17-7, and if the umpires cannot agree then the match shall be abandoned.

Tea intervals can now be taken no later than 3pm.

Oakworth's four rule-change proposals to put the onus on clubs regarding the eligibility of their overseas players were passed 21-3, 19-5, 21-3 and 21-3.

Meanwhile, qualification for the averages in Division Four have been reduced to a minimum of 250 runs for batsmen and 20 wickets for bowlers.

Qualifications for averages in every other division remains at 300 and 25.

Clubs must now notify the league secretary seven days in advance of any other business items for full league committee meetings.

That was passed 15-9, so now no any other business items can be raised on the night.