Cricket captains consulted on rearranging Devon League fixtures
- Credit: Matt Smart
Devon League captains have been asked for their views on rearranging games that are called off due to bad weather.
Saturday’s programme of games in the Tolchards Devon League was virtually wiped out with just five games starting of the 73 on the fixture list – and one of those did not go the distance.
North Devon’s game at Cullompton was one of the casualties, as was the Premier Division tussle between Hatherleigh and Heathcoat.
The early forecast for round four this weekend hints at more weather disruption.
Luke Bess, the Sidmouth captain, has floated a suggestion to allow games to be rearranged if they fall foul of the weather. Sidmouth have not finished a game so far in what has been a soggy start to the season.
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Tom Popham, the North Devon captain, was quick to give his support to Bess’s suggestion.
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“I would be in favour and I don't know why this hasn't been the case before,” said Popham.
“As we've missed so much cricket over the past year or so, we should be looking to allow sides to play as much as possible.
“It would obviously take some arranging, and may result in some changes to teams with availability, but that's not necessarily a negative thing.”
Mark Lake, the Hatherleigh skipper, was far less enthusiastic about rearranging washed-off games.
Lake said he could see some obvious pitfalls such as players being torn between two sports and some clubs not having grounds available, which might stop them playing.
“The only way it's going to work is if every club does it,” said Lake.
“I can't quite see how it's going to work for people with commitments to other sports going into September.
“There will be players in every division who play football, rugby or other sports during the winter.”
Bess, who plays rugby for Sidmouth, caught up with some of his winter team-mates after the game against Cornwood was cancelled and his idea to rearrange games came from comments they made.
“They were shocked when I told them our rained-off league games don't get rearranged,” said Bess.
“Is there a way that could happen? Play them in September or on free Sundays?
“Obviously it would need all clubs to do it to make it fair, but is that something to think about in the future?
“Availability might suffer as well with kids back to school on Saturdays and so forth. Yet it cannot hurt to discuss it at this stage as it's going to be a short season.”
Rearrangements were allowed in the Cornwall League until 2005 when they were voted out at the competition’s annual meeting. The Devon League has never allowed rearrangements since its formation in 1972.