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Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark

posted 3 Aug 2016, 12:25 by Mike Madden
Well, maybe not Denmark, but there are plenty of Hamlets out there that are really struggling within the auspices of the DCCL.

Last weekend emphasised the problem, with Chapel seconds not being able to field a team, and Buxworth turning out with eight men. Both cited YNot as the problem, and before we at Whaley Bridge tut too loudly we should reflect on the fact that we had a bye this week, otherwise we too would almost certainly have failed to put out a second team.

As it turned out Buxworth didn't put up much of a fight, being all out for 26. Compstall didn't do much better, being dismissed for 27. As one of the Buggy players reflected, if we are going to get annihilated like that I would rather forfeit the game.

The league are waiting for clubs to suggest revisions for next year. They have already stepped in to make the Hawke Trophy optional which is admirable, but kind of misses the point.

We not only have to think about the quantity of cricket being played, but also the quality. What would ensure that teams could field two teams every week? What is cricket competing with? Earlier in the season Chapel forfeited because Jack Massey was fighting. Now its YNot. There will always be something that gets in the way of spending up to 8 hours playing cricket.

Localised fixtures may help, but local rivalries are not necessarily friendly rivalries (see below). The length of the game is definitely a problem, particularly in the fourth division where most of these problems manifest themselves. T20 is anathema to the cricketing purist, but in a few years time that purist may be sat watching the same two clubs play each other every week in a dystopian groundhog day.

Neil Shaw has been both vocal and sensible in his suggestions - the league have clearly seen them, so lets cut out the paperwork.

The elected management committee can canvas opinion, but this does not have to be a Brexit style referendum. Indeed, it may be that those clubs that are 'ok' today and would not like to see any DCCL cricket reduced, are tomorrow's victims, as soon as Marple or Glossop decided to host a music festival or spawn a local hero that performs on a Saturday night!

The league might just need to be proactive in proposing rule changes, turning a blind eye to protocol in the interests of saving the sport.

At the very least the fourth division needs to be reduced to 35 overs, but even that would probably not stem the tide. An innovative T20 competition might not only halt the slide, it might also stimulate growth back into our noble game.

If you read the last edition you will realise that Whaley Bridge have already claimed the Compstall Cup this season (based on the league handbook rules), but it seems that the league disagree, and they dictated that Hawk Green and Mottram should play their twice postponed semi final on a specific day. Mottram could not field a team and therefore had to forfeit. I wonder if they will be fined. No, seriously, I wonder if they will be fined for not fielding a team for a match that should not have been sanctioned.

Anyway, we look forward to our friendly against Hawk Green at New Mills on 11th September.