Whaley Bridge is a microcosm of the imbecilic, happy clappy, Emperor’s Clothes mentality currently infesting village cricket. Meanwhile the bigwigs grin themselves to death, totally oblivious to the surgical innovation so desperately required.
Firstly, instead of debating the role of senior cricket towards juniors the DCCL should be questioning the attitude of juniors towards senior cricket.
To reinforce the point look no further than Danny Ashworth and Eddie Taylor. Two promising players who were given every opportunity to bat and bowl on a Saturday afternoon, before promptly disappearing down a black hole of cricketing apathy.
I know for a fact that teams like Hazel Grove and Birch Vale are facing the same problem.
Why does the game lose its appeal as soon as a player leaves junior cricket?
Why have the cup competitions lost their sparkle?
Why have promotion and relegation in a league that doesn’t want to join the pyramid?
There isn’t an obvious solution, but the format needs to be revamped. Otherwise we lose the fight against indifference.
1/ Abolish promotion and relegation.
2/ Create two leagues (DCCL West and DCCL East).There are currently eleven teams situated West of Marple. Two games less, but arguably higher quality as it means less games in April and September when players have other options.
3/ All fixtures to be played on a Sunday (Bissenden 40 over format) If the juniors are good enough they will have more than enough bowling.
4/Top Two teams from both Leagues to meet in Semi Finals and Grand Final (Winner of West plays runner-up in East etc)
5/ U17 cricket to be switched to Saturday afternoon May/June/July
6/ Bissenden and Hawke to be revamped as a Twenty20 competition, played in late July/early August on a Saturday afternoon. All 22 teams in a straight draw with both semi finals and final played at the same venue.
7/ One Inter League Twenty/20 played as a fund raiser.
Not perfect, but a damn sight better than the blind leading the bored.