Norfolk League introduce new Twenty20 competition
- Credit: Colin Finch
The Norfolk Cricket League has embraced the popularity of the Twenty20 format by introducing a new county-wide competition.
A total of 38 clubs will be competing in this summer's knock-out event, which will run alongside the league action.
The early rounds will be played in regional groups, culminating in a finals day on July 23 at Sprowston CC for both cup and plate competitions, The semi-finals and final of a new under-nine softball competition will take place between the adult semi-finals and prior to the adult final, where the Tom Bartram Trophy - named after the former league president who died last June aged 98 - will be up for grabs.
'The NCL is proud to launch both competitions, which gives the league a full offering of cricket in all formats to all ages,' said NCL general secretary Tim Porter.
'With our junior competition in the west of the county, and 95 teams competing in the NCL for 2017, the league is in very good health, and is doing its best to maximise participation in cricket in Norfolk'
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The under-nine softball league, which is designed to get youngsters used to the game, has attracted 17 entries and has been fully endorsed and supported by the Norfolk Cricket Board.
Kieron Tuck, from the NCB, commented, 'We are delighted to be supporting this exciting initiative with the Norfolk League.
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'Cricket is now looking to engage with younger people and enthuse them to develop a lifelong love of the game. Alongside the new ECB All Stars Cricket programme for five-eight year olds launching this summer, we believe that this new competition will become a key way of providing exciting, fun and inspiring cricket for young players and their families.'
Meanwhile Chris Free has stepped up as president of the league while long-serving committee member Alan Harris also becomes a vice-president. Ian Doy has taken over from Mike Ridout as chairman and Ian Parkin has joined the committee as disciplinary officer.
Happisburgh CC have rejoined the league from the Norfolk Alliance along with new teams Boughton, Vauxhall Mallards B, Topcroft B, Hockwold A and a joint Narborough A and Swaffham B team.