As the bad weather continues around the country, the GCCL are hoping the rain stays away this weekend ahead of the start of a new competition, as the GCCL’s Steve Hill writes.
The brand new Greene King IPA Gloucestershire County League T20 Blast kicks off on Sunday (23rd June) with 22 teams eager to make their mark.
The sides have been placed in three geographic groups with the table-toppers set to qualify for a round-robin finals day at Hatherley & Reddings CC on August 25.
T20 Blast organiser and County League committee member Ian Robson said: “The aim of the competition is to revitalise Sunday cricket, and the response from clubs has been very encouraging.
“More than a third of the clubs in the County League have committed to taking part while Andoversford (from the Cheltenham/Gloucester/Forest of Dean League) and Moreton-in-Marsh (Cotswolds Hills League) have also signed up.
“We’re hopeful that the idea of a three-hour game on a Sunday will particularly appeal to the 16-25 age-group as well as time-challenged family players. We have tried to minimise travelling by regionalising the three groups, and there are also a couple of weeks off before we get to our Finals Day.”
Matches will be played under regular T20 rules with a couple of amendments.
Batsmen must retire if they reach 50, but can return to the crease at the departure of the tenth (or last) batsman, while all no balls will result in a free hit.
Clubs can field a maximum of four players who may have appeared in a West of England Premier League Gloucestershire Division match the previous day.
Craig Barry, Sales Development Manager at Greene King, said: “We are delighted to continue our association with the County League by also supporting the new T20 Blast.
“It’s an exciting initiative aimed at encouraging more people to play on Sundays, and we hope the tournament will grow and go from strength to strength.”
All matches will start at 2.30pm unless both captains agree to a change.
After this week’s opening round of matches, games will also take place on June 30, July 7, July 14, July 28, August 4 and August 11.
Sunday fixtures – West Division: Birdlip & Brimpsfield v Redmarley, Kingsholm v Corse & Staunton, Newent v Gloucester (Lydney are without a game).
South Division: Chipping Sodbury v Rockhampton, Hawkesbury Upton v Cam, Painswick v Stroud (Frocester are without a game).
East Division: Cheltenham v Andoversford, Fairford v Langford, Hatherley & Reddings v Cirencester, Moreton-in-Marsh v Great Rissington.