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Julian Cup revamp gets the green light from area's clubs

Last summer’s Julian Cup winners, Stoke Green

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The area’s cricket clubs have agreed in principle a revamp of this summer’s Julian Cup competition.

Club officials attended a meeting at Boyne Hill CC on Wednesday last week where a series of proposals were put forward to revive the competition, which has seen entrants dwindle in recent years.

There was general and unanimous approval for the competition to be divided into A and B leagues based on their respective league positions.

This will see the eight strongest teams split into two groups of four in a Julian Cup competition, with the matches to be played on Tuesday night. The other teams would play in two pools of the Plate competition, with matches on Wednesday nights. This will guarantee every club a minimum of three matches which are now more likely to be meaningful and competitive. The introduction of a powerplay – fielding restrictions for the first six overs to encourage positive cricket – was also approved for this summer.

The changes will now be formally ratified at the competition’s AGM in a couple of weeks, with the two competitions to get underway in mid May.Favourable views were also expressed on the introduction of coloured kits and pink balls, but these will not be implemented this year.

Provisionally, the cup competition will be contested between Burnham, Stoke Green, Cookham Dean, Marlow, North Maidenhead, Maidenhead & Bray, Wargrave and Boyne Hill.

The plate is set to be contested by Pinkneys Green, Littlewick Green, White Waltham and Taplow – with a number of clubs keen to play their B squads. However, competition chairman Tony Drake said a number of clubs expressed an interest in rejoining the competition. He’ll be speaking with the likes of Holyport, Braywood and Wooburn Narkovians to try and encourage them to play, while Farnham Royal have already agreed to enter the plate.

“We’re hoping that the changes will encourage clubs back into the competition,” said Drake. “We’ve already heard that two or three clubs, including White Waltham, are keen to do this.

“The teams will be in groups of the same ability, meaning they’ve got a real chance of winning their competition. However these teams are put together, there will be some tasty games to look forward to.

“These changes have been agreed in principle but we’ll look to give them the green light at the AGM in a couple of weeks.

“The two sections will be based on the seniority of clubs in respect to their league position. Each will have two groups of four teams and they will each play three games. The winner and the runner-up will then go through to the semi-finals against teams from the other group. The semi-finals and finals will be unaltered so we’ll still have those nights.”

“We also spoke last night (April 17) about the introduction of coloured kits and pink balls.

“There were favourable views on those but we’ve decided not to implement those for this year. We’ll possibly look to include them for 2020.”

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