Midweek cricket league bowled out by coronavirus pandemic

THE North Staffs and District Phoenix 15 Cricket League has abandoned this summer's mid-week campaign.

The coronavirus pandemic has put pay to the eight-a-side action which has raised more than £15,000 for local charities since 2006.

The Foster Carers' Association and the Alice Charity were due to be the 2020 beneficiaries.

League secretary Roger Machin explained: "The Phoenix 15 officers recently held a video meeting which the league chairman took part in along with representatives of the other leagues and Staffordshire Cricket.

"Following the ruling that domestic cricket will not start before August 1 we took the difficult decision that the Phoenix 15 competition would not take place this year."

He added: "The timescales made it impossible for us to get the minimum 50 per cent of games in and then organise a finals day.

"The nature of our game, being an evening game, means that we maximise the evening light available by staging our zonal games so that the halfway stage is near the summer solstice.

"If we were to play at a later stage of the summer we would find our games curtailed by bad light. We are also aware that the risk of infection [from Covid-19] is still relatively high and the safety of our players must take priority."

Clubs will not be required to pay their annual league fees this year. It is because administrative costs still having to be met (annual insurance etc) the league will not be able to make it usual donation to charities.

Nantwich are the current holders of the trophy after beating Porthill in last year's final played at Ashcombe Park CC.


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