Date: 27th Nov 2021
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Date: 17th January 2021


Restart Group recalled to plan for all eventualities.

By Tom Evans  Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Cricket Competition officials are cautiously hopeful of playing a full season this year – but their mantra is still “fail to plan, plan to fail”.

Chairman John Williams told this week’s AGM that the Restart Group, which succeeded in getting some cricket played last year, will be reconvened ahead of the scheduled start to the season on April 24.

At present – with the current lockdown due to end in mid-February, more than two months before the first call of “play” – there could be no problem but nothing is certain.

Last year’s Love Lane Leagues saw no teas, no use of changing facilities and no spitting on the ball – even if similar modifications have to be made to the ground rules, something that looks a lot more like a normal cricket season should be possible.

But Mr Williams acknowledges the need for a plan B, just in case. The thought of a second summer spent watching the grass grow is bad enough – the last thing clubs need is more uncertainty.

“It worked well last year,” he said. “And this time, we have plenty of feedback to aid our thinking.  

“With help from our sponsor, Love Lane Brewery, the teams played for beer in 2020 – but, if circumstances permit, we hope to be playing for something a lot more competitive this year.”

Tuesday night’s AGM – held over Zoom – saw only one motion put forward: That there be no change to any rules, regulations or personnel on the management committee from last year.

Even the fixtures, bar a few wrinkles yet to be ironed out, will be copied and pasted from 2020 – reflective of a desire to forget the summer of COVID ever happened, while at the same time learning the lessons and planning for a possible sequel.

Representatives of all the Competition’s clubs expressed their appreciation for last year’s arrangements, along with a number of events for the junior and women’s sections.

In turn, Mr Williams thanked the clubs for their support throughout this difficult period, as well as acknowledging the support the Competition has received from the ECB and the Lancashire Cricket Foundation.

The Competition continues to attract high-quality talent, despite the lingering uncertainty.

Southport & Birkdale, under new skipper Chris Cunningham, have picked up young Lancashire batsman JJ Fielding from Ramsbottom CC – what with slow left-armer Bobby Wincer arriving from Fleetwood Hesketh, and veteran batsman David Snellgrove from Rainford, theirs has been a busy winter.

Firwood Bootle – still the holders of the Competition’s Premier League, after winning it in 2019 – have signed former Lancashire seamer Toby Lester and ex-Lytham batsman Ben Saunders; Prem rivals Formby are hoping it’s second time lucky when it comes to former IPL all-rounder Bipul Sharma, who was due to join last year before COVID struck.

And Pite van Bijon, who played for South Africa against England in a T20 game in December, has joined New Brighton.


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