New Rules For Tucker League

A CONTROVERSIAL new way of deciding rain-affected cricket matches will be trialled in this season s Tucker League. The new rules will mean captains of the side batting second may have to select some of their players not to bat, which some fear will lead t

A CONTROVERSIAL new way of deciding rain-affected cricket matches will be trialled in this season's Tucker League.

The new rules will mean captains of the side batting second may have to select some of their players not to bat, which some fear will lead to unrest among players.

The format has been brought in to even out a perceived advantage to the side batting second - that side won every rain-affected game last season.

The one season trial will take place in the Cambs and Hunts Premier League Divisions One and Two, meaning Huntingdonshire sides Bluntisham, Waresley, Godmanchester, Ramsey, Eaton Socon and Kimbolton will be affected.


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Keith Colburn, secretary of the Tucker League, said: "Last year's weather was poor and a lot of games were played over a reduced over format.

"The rules that applied gave a clear advantage to the side batting second and this was backed up by results which saw that side win every one of the 30-plus games that were weather-affected.

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"What we have tried to do is bring in something similar to the Duckworth/Lewis method used at the top level. The main difference is that the side batting second will start with wicket(s) down if weather has intervened and chase a reduced total."

The rules will see the side batting first bat for its full 48 overs, regardless of weather conditions. The side batting second would then lose one wicket for every six overs of its innings lost to the weather, with the total runs required being adjusted to be an average runs per over during the first innings.

The side batting second must bat a minimum of 10 overs to constitute an innings, but if 38 overs had been lost to the weather they would start their reply on zero runs for six wickets chasing the revised target.

Hunts League secretary Richard Ewing said he would be watching how the trial worked with interest.

He said: "This move reflects the mood in cricket which seems prepared to move away from the old rigid rules and implement something that gives the game a positive feel.

"There has been a move for some time to do something to improve the outcome of weather-affected games and we are certainly looking to make changes to rules within the Hunts League in these areas."

Eaton Socon captain Terry Day said with the advent of the new rules, he hoped it wouldn't rain.

"Nobody likes games that are rain- affected," he said. "Looking at the rule I'll probably leave it to someone else in the team to work out the details should the weather intervene.

"So long as it makes the game fair to both parties I don't have a problem, but what will happen if I have to tell four or five of my players that they aren't going to bat remains to be seen."

David Swannell, Ramsey's league representative, said: "We have been on the good and bad side of the old result which definitely favoured one side.

"Something needed to be done. and they have already trialled a similar system in Lancashire last year, if this is the answer then it will be good news for everyone.

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