The Northamptonshire Cricket League has decided to postpone its opening weekend of fixtures.
Some clubs had expressed concern they would be unable to prepare their pitches to a suitable standard because of the consistent bad weather we have endured in recent months.
As a result the NCL has followed the lead of some other competitions, including the Leicestershire & Rutland League, by delaying the opening round of fixtures.
A statement from the league's chairman David Hartley read:
With the appalling wet weather we are experiencing both at present and, indeed, for the past few weeks, club groundsman are under extreme pressure and are finding it very difficult to prepare grounds for the start of the League season on 21st April.
Over the past few days, the Management Committee have given a great deal of thought to the many enquiries from clubs in respect of what we can do to help them. We have also consulted with other Premier Leagues to discover what initiatives they have taken. Further discussions have taken place with the ECB to get a steer from them as to what might work best for cricket in Northamptonshire and “Getting the Game on”.
Many of these leagues have decided to postpone the start of the season for one week and will commence their fixtures on 28 April, a decision fully supported by the ECB.
After careful research, consideration and counsel, the NCL have come to the same conclusion and made the same decision and, accordingly, our fixtures will commence on 28th April, with matches as printed in the handbook. Fixtures that were scheduled for 21st April will now be played on 22nd September.
Clearly, this decision will possibly create ground availability issues at the end of the season, particularly for clubs who share their ground with another sport. Mindful of this, where necessary, the NCL will help in finding alternative venues to fulfil these matches.