SUNDAY’S Servicemaster Clean Devon T20 finals day at Budleigh Salterton has been called off to avoid a clash with the football World Cup final.
Initially, Devon League officials who administer the competition, were planning to postpone the final by a week, only if England defeated Croatia last night to reach the final.
Exmouth, North Devon, Cullompton and Plymouth are the four teams playing two semi-finals then the final to determine the county champions. The winners then play the Cornish champions in the first round of the ECB National T20 KO competition,
Having had a couple of days to review the practicalities of running the play-offs on the same day as the World Cup final, clubs have now been told it has been postponed by seven days to Sunday, July 22.
In an email to clubs sent out this morning (Wednesday), competition administrator Richard Stevenson set out the reasons for the postponement.
Stevenson said player and spectator numbers could ‘and most probably would be impacted’ by clashing with the World Cup final.
He added: “We want to avoid (that) for your four clubs and, as importantly, the host club Budleigh and the event’s sponsor Servicemaster Clean.
“We had contemplated running both semi-finals this Sunday, then running the final the following Sunday, which would have allowed time for teams to then watch the World Cup final.
‘But I am mindful that for the two teams having to travel furthest - North Devon and Plymouth - that this would mean a long drive just for one T20 match. Then, should you go through to the final, a further drive the following Sunday.”
Stevenson stressed it was not an easy decision to reach as there are ‘fors and againsts’ either way.
He added: “I hope this at least makes it easier for player selections for you all and let's look forward to a great day’s cricket.”