Due to the responses received from our questionnaire we have decided that we will run the competition along similar lines to that held in 2019 and that proposed for 2020. We could simply run the competition as was scheduled for 2020 before the Pandemic arrived but thought it right to re-invite clubs in the hope of attracting more clubs and having a bigger competition.At the time of writing this note we are not sure of the position regarding our sponsorship and therefore cannot confirm whether there will be prize money. As and when we are aware of the sponsorship situation we will come back to all clubs. We propose, as in previous years, that any player from a Premier or Championship club who played more games in 2020 for the first eleven than a lower eleven in league matches will be ineligible, as will any player in 2021 who, up to the date of any game in the competition, has played more for the first eleven than any other side in the club in league matches.
We would like to divide up 32 clubs, on a regional basis, in 8 groups of 4 with each club playing the other twice-i.e.home and away. Last season, unfortunately, we only had 18 entrants and therefore we trimmed the competition to accommodate the smaller numbers . Let’s try to get to 32 this year and increase the Sunday cricket we play. You can have “T/20 Sundays” where 3 clubs play two games each to help with availability and reduce the number of Sundays that are necessary during the group stage. As proposed in 2020 the group winners will then go through to the knock-out phase and the runners up in each group would also go into a plate knock-out stage. It would, we hope, sustain interest if for example a club lost its first two matches there would be an incentive to carry on.
As far as dates are concerned, we think that clubs ought to be able to complete the group stage by the end of June.That requires there to be 6 matches, which need only take three Sundays, which should be achievable. As before, with the varied Sunday fixtures that clubs have, it would be unworkable to have the league impose dates for actual games, so clubs will have to arrange the fixtures themselves. Equally, if some clubs are ‘difficult’ when it comes to agreeing dates, then the league will have to decide with, I am afraid, no right of appeal. The whole point of the competition is to get clubs playing as much as possible on Sundays and clubs entering will have to buy into that idea and the intention behind it.The quarter finals for the main competition and the plate will then be played in July and the semi -finals and the final played on the same day before the end of the league season and therefore by Sunday after the last league game in September.All balls for the competition will be provided by Readers. This is different to previous seasons where only the balls for the knock-out stage were sponsored
All clubs can apply for entry with the Premier and Championship clubs prohibited from playing regular first team players as set out above. Entry into the competition will be on a first come first served basis. Please let us have your entries by 13th January 2021 with the draw going out shortly thereafter.
All entries must be emailed to Tony Johnson’s email which is email@example.com