EAST Devon cricketers will be competing this summer in the very first local T20 tournament, commencing in June.
With recreational sport still in lockdown, it is not yet known whether the Devon Cricket League will be operating a full programme or tiered mini-leagues as with last season.
But there will be plenty of cricket for the seven clubs which have signed up to the new East Devon Bash T20 tournament to be played on Wednesday and Thursday evenings in the early summer.
They are: Uplyme & Lyme Regis, Honiton, Ottery St Mary Seaton, Kilmington, Upottery and Sidbury.
The matches will commence at 6.15pm on June 2 and will run to July 22 with the finals to take place on August 1 at a venue to be decided.
All games will be played with strict observance to any COVID-19 regulations at the time.
Steve Batey, chairman of Uplyme & Lyme Regis Cricket Cub, spoke to LymeOnline Sport about how the idea of a T20 tournament was conceived.
He said: “The tournament came about after the COVID season last year.
“Considerable shorter distances and more local derbies enticed more interest both on and off the field.
“It also came about that more members in some clubs wanted a shorter format cricket which could be accommodated on week nights during the longer lighter months.
“Some Saturdays, if you were away to Barnstaple or Bideford for example, it could easily be a 12- hour day and some could not commit.
“I also thought it was a good opportunity to give more game time and competitive cricket to youngsters who just want to play more cricket and more often than once a week.
“We hope it will generate more income for local clubs which has been lost over recent times for obvious reasons.
“Hopefully it will continue year-on-year and gain more interest as time goes”
Mr Batey thanked Lyme Regis Media Ltd, publishers of LymeOnline, and Nub News with websites in Axminster, Seaton and Honiton, for sponsoring the tournament which will allow cash prizes to be awarded.
The prize money will be as follows: winners – £250; runners-up – £100; top run scorer – £75; top wicket-taker – £75.
A set of rules has been drawn up for the tournament, including: 10 players per side; power play in the first five overs with only two players inside the circle; league points – 4 for a win, 2 each for draw or no result; the final will be between the top two league teams at a neutral venue.
Last season the Devon Cricket League were forced to abandon their league programme and ran a series of tiered mini-leagues.
Uplyme & Lyme Regis, led by Steve Batey, enjoyed a brilliant season, winning their tier 5 mini-league, and marked by a triple consecutive century by Tyler Wellman, the first time this had been achieved in local cricket.
Mr Batey also had a good season, winning the Nub News top batsmen competition.