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'Cancelled' cricket leagues could still start amid crunch talks with ECB



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Brockenhurst CC celebrate their narrow victory over Dorset Indians to claim the Regional Division 1 South West title.
Brockenhurst CC celebrate their narrow victory over Dorset Indians to claim the Regional Division 1 South West title.

THE Hampshire Cricket League and Southern Premier League will find out whether they will be able to start cricket before 1st August this week.

Earlier in the week, Hampshire Cricket League announced they had cancelled the season after the ECB suspended all domestic cricket countrywide. However, the ECB will now hold virtual talks via Zoom this week with leagues across the country to figure out when cricket should make its return.

The ECB extended the current suspension to 1st August leaving only five weeks of the season left and making it impossible for the Hampshire League’s teams to play anything other than friendly matches if they even get the chance to do that.

League chairman Denis Emery explained: “We decided a while ago that if restrictions were to be lifted, we could play by 4th July, we would complete the second half of the season over an eight-week period in July and August, with promotion and relegation between our 17 divisions being administered.

“Directly the ECB extended the suspension of domestic cricket – initially until 4th July and now 1st August – we could obviously not fulfil even half the season, so reluctantly we’ve had to abandon the league altogether.

Emery added: “As soon as we get a restart date, the HCL committee will inform clubs and will be available to help with any queries to get games on.

“We will also soon send out a Covid-19 questionnaire for clubs’ feedback on their preparations ready for a start.

“We are all fully aware there is a far bigger picture here with this pandemic and can just hope that, if the barrier is lifted and they get the opportunity, clubs can arrange friendly matches between themselves and get some desperately needed income into their coffers.”



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