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Statement to clubs from the Union Chairman, Andy Clement

NCU

At the recent club meetings with Premier and Senior League 1 clubs I undertook to revert back to clubs with an update on the discussions that took place.

Following a number of internal meetings the following is a synopsis as to notices of motion that will be proposed by the Management Board to the 2014 AGM and additional information as to progress made in other areas.

It should be noted that the meeting with current Senior League 2 and 3 clubs does not take place until next week and there may be additional or amendments to proposals following that meeting.

As it currently stands there will be 3 notices of motion proposed by the Management Board for the 2015 season (exact wordings will be finalised in due course)

  1. Start Times in Senior Leagues to be 11am from July onwards.
  2. To minimise the potential for bowl outs in both the Challenge and Junior Cups a 20 over match will be played by the Thursday following the initial reserve date – if play is not possible by that Thursday then a bowl out will have to take place.
  3. Net Run Rate to be used to decide the winner of Premier and Senior Leagues when there is a tie on points.

In addition to the above, the Union continues to look at ways of strengthening NCU cricket as a whole. Over the last number of years there has been a radical change in league structures across both senior and junior cricket. At the recent club meetings there were a variety of opinions as to whether or not the current senior league structures were best for NCU Cricket and a Premier league of the current 8, 10 and 12 teams were muted . The Management Board take these opinions seriously and have been working hard since those meetings to gauge whether or not change should be made to league structures and if so how this might be done.

At this stage, it has become apparent that more time is required to address concerns and that further consultation with clubs and other stakeholders is required. Given that the policy has always been that clubs get a season’s notice as to any changes to league structures , I have agreed that the Union led by the Domestic Development Directorate will further consult with all stakeholders over the next few months and that if it is concluded change may be required, then the Union will call an EGM prior to the start of the 2015 season so that clubs will know how any proposed changes may affect them (should the notices of motion be carried at said EGM) prior to the 2016 season.

At the recent meetings all 18 clubs in Premier and Senior League 1 agreed to there being a strict Grounds Criteria being introduced which has to be met before teams can play in the top 2 divisions. Additionally there was an acceptance of the need to develop and give opportunities to young cricketers and the role of Senior clubs in doing this. Concern was also expressed about the cost of participating in the Premier League and clubs currently in Section 1 suggested a limit of one overseas player and wanted to hear further from the Union as to how this could be brought about.

You will note that none of the above discussion points are easy to resolve as both the Union and individual clubs will rightly have their own opinions on them. Therefore along with the league structures issue I am suggesting that we address these and other areas over the winter months and again bring any suggested notices of motion to an EGM prior to the 2015 season.

A number of other views around the National Trophy, Ulster Cup and Shield were aired and I will be discussing those with the NW Chairman and at Cricket Ireland Cricket Committee level. When those discussions take place I will give a further update.

Can I again thank clubs for having a frank and open discussion at the recent meetings. I am sure that you will agree that the areas that potentially need change are not easily resolved and that it is better for us all that further discussions take place to ensure commonality is reached. I as Chairman want to see a settled structure moving forward that is best for NCU cricket and its clubs and continue to welcome feedback from all stakeholders at any stage.

I will be in touch again should it be necessary following next week’s meeting with Section 2 and 3 clubs.

Andy Clement
Chairman NCU