Three pull out of Carter Cup
Carter Cup organisers are hopeful that the 41-year-old cricket competition still has a bright future despite three clubs dropping out next season.At the annual meeting, Bradfield, Mundford and Great Melton all withdrew from the 60-over competition in 2010, citing a lack of playing strength on Sundays.
Carter Cup organisers are hopeful that the 41-year-old cricket competition still has a bright future despite three clubs dropping out next season.
At the annual meeting, Bradfield, Mundford and Great Melton all withdrew from the 60-over competition in 2010, citing a lack of playing strength on Sundays.
Competition chairman John Bettridge said changing social patterns were leaving many players unable to commit to two games of cricket at the weekend and added: 'It is not a problem that is particular to our competition, or even our region, it is happening nationally and people are reluctant to commit as much time as they have done in the past.
'It is a long time since we've had a draw with three byes in and that in itself is quite disappointing.'
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But Bettridge remained hopeful that the competition, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008, would survive the current difficulties: 'Hopefully what will happen is that these clubs have a strong youth policy and as that youth comes forward and develops, they will demand to be playing at a level of competition to test their skills, at which point these clubs can seek to re-enter.
'The structure of youth cricket in Norfolk is excellent now and I would guess there are more youngsters playing the game than ever before. The requirement is to retain that interest and that is what we have tried to do by introducing the Junior Carter Cup at U17 level.
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'Hopefully the young players will remain with their clubs as they get older and clubs will then have the strength in terms of numbers and ability to be taking part in competitions which really test their skills.'
The meeting also saw a proposal passed to change the Lady Mary Trophy to a Twenty20 competition on a one-year trial.
Previously, clubs knocked out of the Carter Cup at the first round stage dropped into a 45-over competition, but a new format has been agreed, based loosely on the national Twenty20 Cup competition.
Participating clubs will be divided into four zones, with each zone's matches taking place on one day. The winners from each zone will then progress to a finals day, featuring semi-finals and the final itself.
Bettridge said: 'We felt there has been a situation over the last few years, with no disrespect to the clubs, that there has been a diminished interest in the minor competition and we wanted to offer them something different and see what the reaction is. What it boils down to is that clubs involved are only committed to two Sundays as opposed to four.'
Carter Cup first round draw 2010: Topcroft v Acle, Sprowston v Cromer, Saham Toney v Fakenham, Stow - Bye, Hardingham v Beccles, Brooke v Horsford, Downham v Great Witchingham, Sheringham v Swaffam, Lowestoft v Bradenham, Vauxhall Mallards v Dereham, Diss - Bye, Old Buckenham - Bye, Norwich v Swardeston, Bungay v Hales, Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers v Mattishall, Hethersett & Tas Valley v North Runcton. Ties to be played Sunday, May 9.
Dates for other rounds: Second round (and Lady Mary Trophy zone matches)-May 30, third round-June 13, semi-finals-July 4, final-August 8 (reserve date August 22).