SPORTSDESK COMMENT: Merger could help cricket bounce back

Sportsdesk Comment with Andy Bloomfield
Sportsdesk Comment with Andy Bloomfield
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The Derwent Valley Cricket League will be officially wound up at an Extraordinary General Meeting next month.

This is obviously very sad news. To see a league which has been going for 95 years fall by the wayside.

But I believe the merger with the Readers Scarborough Beckett Cricket League could help local cricket in the long run.

The number of teams who have quit the DVL over the past few seasons has made it very difficult for the remaining sides to keep going as they have spare weekends, and has also made it a constant battle for league secretary Bernard Goulding to re-jig fixtures, cups and divisions.

The decision to make the new Beckett League into a five or six-division structure has not yet been reached but, as a player of Ravenscar 2nds, who were in DVL Division B last season, I am a big advocate of the latter option.

Many believe more sides may fold before the start of the 2016 season, but by combining the leagues it should make it easier for cricket in the area to move forward and hopefully retain the teams they have and maybe encourage some of the teams who have left for other leagues to return.

A number of sides struggled to raise a full team towards the end of last season, with Cloughton 2nds having to concede nearly half their league matches in the 2015 campaign.

But Cloughton CC issued a statement on their Facebook page near the end of the season saying that they had a new skipper in place for the seconds and they vowed to keep the second team going.

Hopefully this positive attitude will be mirrored by other clubs who have struggled to get 11 players on the pitch every Saturday.

The more relaxed attitude of matches in the DVL has always been one of the major attractions, and ideally this will be carried into the Beckett League.

The DVL was an ideal league for the younger players to move up from the under-15s and into senior cricket and also for older players to wind down in.

Bernard deserves a massive thank-you from all the players who took part in DVL games over the past few decades. The amount of work he put in, as well as his wife Linda, is astounding, all at the same time as running the Evening League, and for many years the junior league.