DUE to the wet state of their wickets and outfields, the Mewies Solicitors Craven League have decided to postpone their opening-day fixtures.

The matches which should have been held on Saturday have now been re-scheduled for Saturday, September 16.

The message was relaid to clubs via an email from league secretary Peter Foster, which stated: “The recent and constant spell of wet and cold weather has left our grounds in less than a desirable state for this time of the year.

“Many of you are unable to get onto the outfield to give it a cut due to the wet conditions, let alone think about getting a roller out of the garage.

“The executive (committee) have been monitoring the situation, listening, and talking to various clubs around the league. The end result, I’m afraid, is that we have no choice but to reschedule all April 15 games to the new date of September 16, the first available Saturday after the scheduled end of the season.

“This will now bring the season to a close halfway into September – pretty much in line with what we are used to.”

Foster added: “In coming to this decision, many scenarios were considered. We were asked if a club can get a game on, can they play?

“As much as this committee is committed to getting the game of cricket on, this could be both an unfair advantage or disadvantage depending on your point of view.

“It could be terrible weather on the rescheduled date with all games washed out but some of those who played at the start of the season would be sitting pretty with a win under their belt – and more points.

“On that basis, it was decided that whatever action the league took, it would involve all member clubs or none. We were asked if clubs could arrange their own rescheduled fixture, the answer would be the same, apart from it being a logistical nightmare for our Play Cricket Officer.

“’What about rescheduling for a convenient Sunday in May?’, someone asked. There were two reasons for this. First, the league voted against playing league cricket on Sundays, and wherever possible we have respected that new ruling, and secondly it would have involved clubs playing a double-header weekend.

“The exception to this would be the upcoming Eid celebrations (April 22) and any resulting changes that may bring.

“Preparing a wicket and protecting it from the elements right up to match day isn’t a problem and well within the capabilities of you all – but it isn’t just the playing surface that causes concern.

“The outfields and squares of our league are currently very soft indeed, and as I prepare this press release, the region has suffered another morning and afternoon of non-stop rain, with more in the forecast.

“To play a game of cricket in these conditions, should the rain stop by Saturday, would cause untold and irreparable damage to the squares, future wickets and outfields of our league.

“The forecast after the weekend is much better, with an increase in temperature. This should start the drying out process nicely for our belated start to the 2023 campaign.

“Thank you all for your understanding and cooperating in this matter.”