NWCU Clubs Sanction 15-Team League for 2023
The NWCU held its AGM on Wednesday night and although the weather forced the meeting online, it turned out to be a very positive evening among the club delegates.
Brian Dougherty was returned unopposed as Union Chair, meaning another three-year stint at the wheel for the Waterside man after an impressive first term.
Terence Patton has earned a lot of plaudits for his work as Cricket Operations Director, and he too was re-elected unanimously as was John Semple who represents the Derry Midweek League.
Peter McCartney’s General Manager/Finance Report was warmly received by the meeting and will be the subject of a separate, upcoming feature.
In terms of the other main business, working groups have now been set up to look at the 2023 Playing Rules & Regulations for Youth, Women’s and Men’s cricket. Proposals, based on feedback from the online survey and club forums, will be presented to the Board for ratification early in the New Year.
The 2023 senior season will feature a one-off, 15-team league, with sides playing for places in the 2024 Premier and Championship Divisions.
Club delegates voted by a clear majority of over 90% to endorse this proposal submitted following the conclusion of widespread club consultation. In recent months the Union held both regional in-person club forums and online club forums with 53 club representatives in attendance and this was supported by a players survey of 256 responses.
Teams will play each other once, with one replay opportunity available for abandoned games, with the top eight making up the following season’s Premier Division and the other seven the Championship.
The 2023 league will remain a 40-over competition, however another discussion will take place in 12 months’ time regarding playing conditions for the new leagues.
Start times remain unchanged next season (11am for 50-over domestic cup games and 12 noon for 40 over matches) and the senior cup competition will again be seeded. The draw for next season’s Sports Hub Senior cup will take place in January.
The Irish Senior Cup, National Cup, Sam Jeffrey and domestic T20 competitions will follow a similar path to the season just finished, accounting for another pretty full programme of games throughout the summer.