CRICKET: No change for HCPL

The Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League (HCPL) is set to continue with its current membership of clubs next season following weeks of uncertainty.

Speculation has been rife that the Hertfordshire clubs may quit the league in 2013 – a move which would have had major implications for clubs in Oxfordshire in terms of promotion and relegation.

But HCPL secretary Roger Garrini said that it now appeared the Herts clubs would be remaining in the league for 2013.

“We are going to issue the fixtures on the basis that they are staying,” he said.

However, the situation could change for 2014 if proposals from Letchworth and Sawbridgeworth, supported by Welwyn Garden City, involving the format of the game don’t receive support at the HCPL annual meeting at High Wycombe on Tuesday, January 22.

Garrini said the wide-ranging proposals involved the introduction of win-lose cricket, reducing the numbers of overs played and the scrapping of lunches.

“We have a proposal and they are not pulling out,” added Garrini. “They are intent on playing the best cricket they can aspire to and that is the Home Counties Premier League.”

Hertfordshire League secretary Barry Hellewell said that depending on how the proposals were received would influence their clubs as to whether they would look to break away and form a Hertfordshire Premier League for future seasons.

“It was never going to happen for 2013,” he added.

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