The loan system in the local cricket leagues seemed like a great idea when brought in for the 2015 season but I have to admit to mixed feelings after seeing how the system is being utilised.
On the one hand you have the ideal situation of Sewerby 3rds, who have been struggling to field a team all season, using five Muston players at the weekend to fulfill their Derwent Valley League division A fixture at Nawton Grange 2nds.
One Muston loanee, Max Truelove, top-scored with an unbeaten 36 and although they lost by nine wickets the decision by the quintet to help Sewerby meant the game was played, as otherwise the clifftop side would probably have had to concede the match.
In the division B tie between Scalby 3rds and Ganton 2nds, the visitors’ star bowler was a loanee from Snainton, Michael Kipling.
The latter, whose team had a spare week due to the resignation of Forge Valley 4ths, claimed Ganton’s top figures of 3-24 and played a key role in the game, which Ganton won by one run.
It is great that Kipling decided to help out Ganton, but I do have reservations about such loan players playing a leading role with the bat or ball, especially in such close matches.
I presumed that the notion of a loaned player is, especially in the lower levels of the local league scene, to ensure that a full team is fielded, and as such loan players would be there to make up the numbers, allowing the regular players to take the lead on the batting and bowling front.
It would be a shame if sides were letting loan players bowl or bat ahead of the younger players who turn up week in, week out, as this will hamper their development, or in some cases annoy them to the point that they wonder why they bother turning up.
In the case of Sewerby 3rds it is understandable that with as many as five loan players that they are all likely to get a bat, and Truelove’s innings was a fine effort which may well lift spirits among the Sewerby players for this weekend.
Hopefully these are just teething pains for the new loan system, which I believe the York League also experienced when they launched their scheme, but at a time when teams are struggling, it is crucial to give juniors the chance to play in senior cricket games.