I have to take my hat off to the committee of the Derwent Valley Cricket League and its member clubs after they voted in a new rule that will see an end to two bowlers repeatedly bowling 20 overs each come cricket season.
Having played in the Derwent Valley leagues for Scalby 3rds, I can safely say that this rule will be a huge boost for a number of reasons.
Not only will it stop clubs fielding a couple of bowlers who will undertake most, if not all of their work, it will also encourage clubs to bring on their younger bowlers and put more time and effort into improving their future prospects.
Time after time in cricket season you’ll see a couple of middle aged blokes bowling wicket-to-wicket for 40 overs, skittling out younger teams for less than 100 on numerous occasions during the season.
What good does this do to the young players learning the game? Absolutely none whatsoever.
By introducing the new rule, stating no bowler may undertake a spell of more than 12 overs, the league are giving teams who field a lot of younger players a chance to turn their arm over, and also to bat for longer periods.
Teams will now be forced to select a team with more bowling options and captains will be challenged to think more about the tactics they employ during their 40-over stint in the field.
As captain of Scalby 2nds, I would encourage the rule being brought into the Beckett League as well.
I was guilty of leaving bowlers on for too long at times last season, but if this rule had been in place it would have challenged me to think more about what I was doing, who I was bowling and when.
The likes of veteran Seamer spinner Chris Clifford (pictured right), bowl 23 over spells most weeks.
It’s not my job to captain Seamer but surely this is preventing some of their younger bowlers from progressing?
This rule would benefit Beckett League cricket in years to come as well, with younger players getting more opportunities to bowl.
Maybe on a lesser scale than the Derwent Valley, but it would still help. I certainly hope the league follows the example set by Bernard Goulding and company.