By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
THERE will be no cricket played under the banner of the Lord’s Cricket Balls North Devon League this summer following a ‘reluctant’ decision by the competition committee to cancel the 2020 league season.
The North Devon League usually runs from mid-April to mid-September and operates three divisions providing cricket to 23 teams.
League officials were hoping to salvage something from the season by making a belated start, but have come to the conclusion that won’t be possible in the absence of any clear dates from the ECB to start playing.
David Hart, the chairman of the league, said: “Taking into consideration the latest ECB advice concerning recreational cricket the committee have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the 2020 season.
“The ECB five-step roadmap for the return of recreational cricket gives no specific dates for the resumption of competitive cricket in its complete format.
“Importantly, it states that this cannot take place until social distancing measures are lifted completely.
“Making this decision early will allow member clubs to arrange games that meet the needs of their individual requirements if, and when, cricket is given the green light.”
Hart said the league’s Play-Cricket website will be available to member clubs as a took for organising fixtures once cricket can be played again.
However, the league won’t be involved in administering games.
“They will be undertaken at the risk of the clubs involved,” said Hart.
“These matches will be outside the jurisdiction of the North Devon League.”
Although traditional 40-overs-each cricket has been ruled out for the season, Hart hinted there might be potential to get some derivative of league cricket played if an early resumption is permitted.
Hart was cautious in is comments though as he said: “Logistically, that could be difficult remembering that all the committee are unpaid volunteers.
Hart added: “Any decision to proceed would need quick action on our part, along with full agreement of any clubs wishing to participate.
“At this stage there is no sense in speculating on what might or might not be possible.”