AGM proposal
Wednesday 20th November 2013

Northern and Ormskirk have put forward a proposal for the forthcoming AGM to abolish the current format of the 1st and 2nd XI Knockouts (the Ray Digman Trophy and Chester Cup) and revert to being a straight knockout, playing the first round on the opening day of the season.

The second and third Saturdays, previously used for round robin matches, would be used for league matches as part of the proposal is to abolish the Bank Holiday matches in late May and August,

This idea is flawed for the beginning as with thirty-six clubs, four matches are required to bring the number down to thirty-two so that means there would be only four matches in each knockout on the opening day. Another day would be needed to play the round with thirty-two teams.

Also proposed for the knockouts is that a new draw be made for each round (FA Cup style) as opposed to a Wimbledon draw whereby the draw is made at the beginning and clubs know who they will be playing in future rounds. Having an FA Cup style draw wastes time as clubs wait for the draw to be made when they could be playing matches. This can lead to fixture congestion as the leading clubs will also be involved in county and national knockouts.

Abolishing the round robin format of the knockouts is understandable as more clubs have opposed it than been in favour. The majority have made it known that they use the fixtures as practice matches and players have made themselves unavailable until the league matches begin.

Regarding the abolishing of Bank Holiday fixtures, with there now being promotion and relegation between three divisions, there are only two instances where clubs play the traditional Bank Holiday fixture, Northern v Ormskirk and New Brighton v Wallasey. This would bring to an end fixtures that date back to the nineteenth century. Generally, it would also mean a loss of revenue for all of the clubs on the two days.

There has been a change of life style in recent years where players wish to spend Bank Holidays with their families rather than playing cricket but that is not a valid excuse, clubs need money to survive and to survive, matches have to be played on the Bank Holidays.

The whole proposal needs to be thought through again.