Alteration to the 2024 Structure and Fixtures

All clubs and teams should take note with some urgency that a number of late changes have had to be made by the League Committee that affects both placements and fixtures.

This follows a crisis of membership at Chelmarsh CC, whose 1st XI has been removed from Division One owing to the majority of its squad leaving, and has been done at the club's request after it stated that the team would fold if left in one of the higher divisions.

As a consequence, Wellington 2nd XI have been reinstated in D1 following their initial relegation to D2.

In turn Wellington 3rd XI have been moved back to D2 – they too had been relegated despite finishing 9th because of the rule debarring two teams from the same club in the same division.

So D3 will now have only 11 sides and 20 matches, and there will be a bye for all teams that were due to play Wellington 3. The committee decided that altering the make-up of D4, D5 & D6 would be inappropriately disruptive and unbalanced, because four teams had already been promoted from each of these divisions and realistic relegation imposed.

D3 will revert to 12 sides for the 2025 season.

These decisions means that some fixtures will be affected, but have been kept to a minimum. 

The fixtures for the Premier Division, D4 and D6 are unaltered.

D2 simply sees Wellington 2 changing to Wellington 3, with a bye replacing Wellington 3 in D3.

D1 and D5 have the most changes, and all alterations will be found on the website and play-cricket.

Six teams in D3 – the 1st XIs of Willey, Pontesbury, Guilsfield, Welshpool and the 2nd XIs of St Georges and Ludlow – have lower Saturday XIs. In order to avoid these teams being tempted to 'load' their lower XIs with D3 players in bye week, selections for the relevant 2nd & 3rd XIs must be forwarded to registrations secretary Craig Simms for approval no later than 8pm on the Thursday before the scheduled game, and the final decisions will rest with him regarding eligible players.

Additionally, teams with a bye will not be allowed to loan out any players that week.
Clubs should be guided by the new 60% rule in selecting these teams – i.e. all players who have played 60% of the league games in the higher team during 2023 and 2024 to date should not be selected. Also new players that have recently joined the higher team should be omitted and should not be part of the 60% calculation. 

Meanwhile Chelmarsh 1st XI have now been placed in D7, evening numbers up to 14, but there is a caveat – the remaining members of its 1st XI will be excluded from playing Saturdays in 2024, as are any of the players who have left the club but who might wish to return.

This means simply that Chelmarsh replace the byes in the fixture list. In week 21 the multiple byes are now fixtures. All teams now play 22 games, facing nine sides twice and four others once.

All other D7 sides that were expecting blank dates on two Saturdays – now filled – must notify the League by the end of February if the sudden resultant extra fixtures will cause a problem with unavailability owing to players that might have made alternative arrangements.

The alterations will be reflected in the allocation and distribution of cricket balls for the new season.

Chelmarsh 2nd XI will continue in S2 and have freedom of selection, but the club must still name five Saturday players (as per the rule) who will not be eligible to play Sundays.

The players that remain at the club but who are debarred from playing Saturdays: Sam Best, Matt Evans, Andy Unitt, Will Fensome. The committee reserves the right to name another additional player(s) if deemed necessary.

The following players have left the club and will also be ineligible for Saturdays should they return: Connor Glendinning, Tom Hill, Alex Starr, Elliott Ward, Scott Randall, Harry Northcott, Charlie Fensome, Ian Griffiths.

The club's player eligibility situation will be reviewed in the aftermath of the 2024 season.

Links to the fixtures are here

The revised structure is below

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