THE formats for the Wynn Cup and Cowling Cup remain in the melting pot for next season.

What became clear from a cup debate at the Mewies Solicitors Craven League league meeting at Cross Hills Social Club that followed their annual meeting is that far from everyone will be happy whatever the outcome.

Should the Wynn Cup remain a T20 competition or revert to its former life as a 40 overs per side event?

Ought the Cowling Cup to remain as a T20 competition?

Should both be 40 overs per side and a separate T20 competition be held?

Should the Cowling Cup and Wynn Cup have separate finals days (with semi-finals and finals being held on the same day) rather than both finals being held at one venue on the same day?

Should only the top two divisions be eligible for the Wynn Cup or should it be restricted to first teams whatever division they are in?

Should the Cowling Cup only be for teams in divisions Three and Four?

Whatever options the executive committee take there will be some clubs who feel so strongly that they will withdraw their entry, so some long, hard thinking lies ahead of the committee to even make the majority of clubs happy.

New league secretary Peter Foster, in his first annual report just eight weeks into the job, addressed two vital issues - getting more umpires on board and trying to ensure that clubs field full sides by having a thriving junior section.

The proposed solution to the former issue is getting more club umpires on courses, which the league will pay for.

Foster, a panel umpire in the league, wrote: "In order to create and maintain a vibrant and competitive cricket league, where all players want to get out on Saturday afternoons and conceding a game is a thing of the past, it goes without saying that we, as your executive committee owe it to you to make sure your games are officiated properly with qualified umpires.

"At the moment divisions Three and Four are officiated by club umpires and, while some have extremely good officials like Denholme, whose club umpire is an ex official from the Bradford League, some umpires, with the best intentions in the world - and we owe our club umpires a great debt of gratitude - take the field with a modicum of understanding the laws at best.

"The long-term vision would be for the Umpires' Association to be in a position to officiate at every league game in every division.

"This won’t happen next year nor the year after that and probably not the year after that but we, as a governing body, would be derelict in our duty if we don’t take the initiative and strive forward with the aim to offer a full and qualified contingent of umpires each and every week of the season.

"Embarking on an ambitious programme of events and change can seem daunting at first. Some will drag their feet, some will object on the grounds of 'it’s too much trouble' and some will say 'there’s no interest. Who’s going to do it?' or a host of other negative comments coupled with negative attitude.

" I say let’s be positive, let’s give this opportunity the best shot we can. Every journey begins with a single step and the single step being proposed in this instance is for all club umpires to be invited to start their official umpiring career by attending the Umpires' Education Stage One.

"It will be a one-day, certified course run by the Yorkshire branch of ACO tutors. It will be held locally and include refreshments and lunch, membership to the ECB ACO and fully comprehensive insurance for match days.

"The aim would be to field knowledgeable umpires in each division, and the hope in time would be for those wishing to go a step or two further to join the Umpires' Association.

"The pathway for progression is open to each and every umpire. You could be in a Division Four game at the start of next season and by the start of your third season, you could be standing in the First Division or indeed standing in the Wynn Cup final.

"Like I said earlier, this is a vision of the future and the road could be rocky at times but it’s a road we should all feel strongly about taking. We must make the effort. Small steps but in an onward direction and we will get there."

Foster also implores clubs to run junior sections.

He wrote: "Something like this won’t happen overnight. It’s a long game and needs to be entered into in that frame of mind, but the difference in 10 years’ time could be either fielding two regular elevens every week, plus junior teams, or taking to the field with just one team and perhaps conceding a few fixtures along the way.

"The All Stars programme is a great way to get young players interested in the first instance and the support from the YCB (Yorkshire Cricket Board) is excellent."