Major shake-up is on the cards for county clubs
Leicestershire club cricket is in line for a major shake-up.
The Everards League, the Leicestershire Senior League and the Leicestershire League are set to merge, hopefully in time for the 2014 season.
The final details are still to be finalised.
But, if the plan goes ahead, it means that virtually all the clubs in Leicestershire will be playing in one league competition.
Cheap Van Insurance(Commercial & Private Use) - Contact Insure365...View details
Cheap Van Insurance(Commercial & Private Use) - Contact Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Expenses Cover Included at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Monday, June 24 2013
Subject to their facilities meeting the criteria, every club could have the ambition of playing their way through the divisions to take on powerhouses, such as Loughborough Town and Kibworth.
At the moment, clubs from the three leagues face each other only in the County Cup.
But that competition is limited to 32 clubs and the proposed new structure will bring Leicestershire into line with virtually every other county in having a pyramid structure for its Saturday league cricket.
The plan has been under discussion for about 18 months and, if it is to go ahead in 2014, will have to be ratified this winter by meetings of each of the leagues.
If that happens, it is understood a working party will be set up to finalise the details.
The likelihood is that, subject to promotion and relegation, the top four divisions of the Everards League will form the top four flights of the new league in its first year.
The lower divisions are set to be on a regional basis – for example, Five North and South or East and West.
That would leave about 30 teams in Leicestershire and Rutland who play league cricket in neighbouring counties.
It is hoped that, in time, some of them will join the new set-up.
Much of Rutland's league cricket is played on Sundays but Uppingham Town will be joining Oakham Town in the Everards League next year.
Meanwhile, Lutterworth's relegation from the Premier Division of the Everards League has been confirmed.
A meeting of the league's clubs upheld a decision of the management committee to impose a 310-point penalty on the Coventry Road club over a player-eligibility issue.
It also ratified a 142-point deduction for Leicester Ivanhoe over player eligibility.
A Lutterworth spokesperson said the club thought the penalties should not have stood and added: "We are disappointed with the outcome. We look forward to new rules being introduced over the winter.
"We are now focusing on keeping our squad together and planning for what we need to do to give us the best chance of earning promotion next year."