As a player in the lower levels of the Derwent Valley Cricket League I have been upset to hear of the demise of Oriel CC and Hunmanby CC in recent weeks due to a lack of players.
With Hospitals/Rugby Club, who play in the top flight of the DVL, also reported to be struggling to get a team together, the league has been plunged into chaos just a few days before the start of the new season.
Cloughton under-15s also resigned from the Greenwood hire Junior League this week and rumours are rife that Staithes are set to hold discussions with the Readers Scarborough Beckett League about pulling one of their two teams out of the league before the season, which starts a week on Saturday.
Why are all these teams struggling to raise sides?
Not long ago Hunmanby had two teams, and in the 1990s the Sands Lane club’s first team were up there challenging in the higher divisions of the Beckett League, so it is a shame to see them drop out altogether.
I remember them having great players such as the Hill brothers, Geoff and Peter, Paul Hebden, and the Burrell siblings, Rich and Andy, but they lost them to bigger clubs nearby over the years.
They did rise again several years ago, coming up from division C of the DVL to the B division in the Beckett League with a younger crop of players, but they then quit the league in 2012.
I feel that a lot of clubs, in both the local cricket and football leagues, tend to rely on one person doing the bulk of the admin, selecting teams, organising teas, etc, and this soon leads to problems when these individuals have had enough and call it a day.
Clubs need to have a few people in place to take on different roles and it is no great surprise that the teams which are well organised are the ones which still thrive, Forge Valley, Cayton and Wykeham are all still going strong.
I do not agree with an opinion held by some players who have stated on social media that such clubs with multiple teams are to blame for other clubs falling by the wayside, they should be praised for trying to move with the times.
What is more worrying is the fact that junior teams are starting to struggle as well, with Cloughton the latest casualty.
The village’s senior team will now suffer as the under-15s teams were often the place where they would find their players of the future and bring them through the seconds and into the first team.
My team Ravenscar 2nds now have a couple of spare Saturdays due to the withdrawal of Hunmanby, but if Hospitals/Rugby Club join Oriel in folding then the top flight will be whittled down to eight teams, giving the teams four blank weekends this summer.
If this trend continues then the DVL could well be reduced to two divisions.
Many have put forward the idea of playing a t20 league in the DVL on a Saturday in order to revive interest among the younger generation, but I don’t believe this makes sense as there is already a t20 league, running on an eveni