Please see below a message from Gary Stanley at Sussex Cricket regarding the review of recreational adult league cricket.
URGENT - Strategy for Cricket in Sussex - Review of Recreational League Cricket
Dear Recreational League Club,
Further to the e-mail below, sent out in late June, the ALG review group has now completed the nine consultation sessions around the County. We estimate that we spoke directly to around two thirds of Clubs in Sussex and we thank them for taking the time to give us their views. The sessions were incredibly valuable and an enormous amount of feedback was obtained.
The first thing we made clear is that the actual structure of a future league, based around the feedback received at these sessions, is the ONLY thing that the ALG has been mandated to recommend to the SCL Board. Any decisions around playing conditions, start times, match formats etc. would still be decided by a Club vote at the appropriate meeting, as is the case now. That said, the discussions were not limited to the structure and we had a great deal of interesting feedback around all aspects of league cricket.
During the sessions, we distributed three possible ideas for a new single league structure, all slightly different to one another. These were presented purely as visual aids and discussion starters, certainly not as the three choices that were available. The handouts proved a very useful discussion tool and are attached here for your information.
Although we have received all sorts of valuable feedback and ideas, we wanted to give you a flavour of the trends that have emerged over the nine sessions, the views most commonly stated. They were: -
- Not one attendee disagreed with the principle of having one league containing all teams in Sussex. There seems to be a general view that this is the only way to resolve all the issues facing us in terms of participation and performance.
- The clear majority recognise the need for a Central pillar in the structure, understandably the clubs toward the middle of the County would favour that starting higher up than those in the East and West corners.
- There is a general acceptance that the bottom of the SPCL is an issue and that those teams need to be mixed in with the higher divisions of the other three leagues in any new structure.
- Whilst the better teams are happy to travel to play teams of a similar standard, there is agreement with the need for wider regionalisation and shorter ‘cricket days’ toward the lower end of the structure.
- The best ways to shorten the ‘cricket day’ at the lower levels are (1) less travelling time and (2) shorter formats, or a combination of both. This is generally considered to be the key to keeping young people in cricket, whilst allowing them the social life that they want outside of the game.
- The majority view is that either 20 or 30 teams playing countywide would suffice for the performance end to improve.
- The role of overseas players was mentioned at every meeting. There are some very differing views on what their role should be, but all agreed that this needs to be defined much more clearly in a new structure.
- On the governance side, there is general support for having one committee at the top, based around the existing ALG, potentially including a paid administrator role depending on funding, with regional sub-committees further down the structure to ensure the bottom end is fully protected.
I will save the main point until the end: -
- Many clubs, mainly in Mid and West Sussex, have expressed the view that given the issues faced by recreational cricket, we cannot afford to wait until 2019 to put this new structure in place. There is a significant groundswell of opinion that it should happen for next season. It is understood by those advocating this that the governance side of the restructure would not be able happen over one winter. Instead, a two-step process has been widely suggested: -
- Put the playing side of the structure in place for 2018, with a guarantee that all clubs will be playing in one combined league in 2019. This means that Clubs needing to effectively move into a different league for 2018 could be certain that it was for one year ONLY. The four existing committees would be responsible for running the appropriate parts of the structure for next season.
- The ALG to spend 2018 ensuring that the governance aspects are all in place ready for the 2018 AGM and that the combined league, under one banner, can start in 2019.
We are aware that some clubs were not able to come to a session in their area and that clubs who did attend may have received additional views from their members since that time. Therefore, you now have a short window during which to feed back to us any views that you have, whether in agreement with the general points above or not. We would especially like to hear from ESCL clubs about the prospect of starting in 2018, as this idea was not fully explored until raised at subsequent meetings. We will be having an ALG meeting during the week commencing 11th September to discuss all of this, so please advise any views you have to email@example.com (copying your league Exec in if you wish) by Friday 8th September.
On behalf of the Adult Leagues Group.
Sussex Cricket Limited, Board Member
Sussex Cricket Foundation, Trustee
West Sussex Invitation Cricket League, Chairman
Daytime: 01273 792305
Mobile: 07775 933311
Follow this link to see the proposals for potential future league structures:
Sussex Cricket Leagues Potential future structures.xlsx