The NCU decision to collapse the Senior League into only 3 sections, will by its own admission necessitate discussion as to future league structures.

The announcement of the management board's decision to take that action indicted that there would be meetings with clubs to discuss the future structure of the Senior league, but to limit discussion to that narrow agenda would perhaps be a missed opportunity at a time when the cricketing community is open to more radical thinking.

It was almost ninety years into its existence before the NCU adopted a constitution that removed power from the Senior Committee and vested it in a committee of 20 elected at an AGM.

As the Union's history notes: 'Previously the Senior Committee alone decided the competition rules and clubs grew adept at lobbying support and making mutually useful alliances with others in order to initiate or block changes in competition rules.'
Some would argue that while much has changed, the system of one vote per team rather than one vote per club perpetuates that elitism in all but name.
The stability that a two thirds requirement brings is mixed in with the power that the present system hands the 'big' clubs and by that I mean 'big' in size and not 'big' in name.

In perpetuating a Senior/Junior divide in our cricket surely we are guilty of the very thing we condemn the ICC for, creating a false ceiling that blocks the path to the top for some and protects the status of others, just as the old Senior Committee did.

To say that there is an uncrossable gulf between Senior 2 and Junior 1 belies the truth of the situation and ignores the obvious.

The varying strengths of sides that will compete in the expanded 2018 Section 2 has already drawn concerned comment from clubs who question the wisdom of the decision.
And surely there is enough evidence from the Junior Cup where 2nd XI's have more than held their own against Senior opponents that the gap is a narrow one.

The current eight Junior League Sections give a true measure of a teams standing - win and you move up lose and you go down - eventually everyone finds their level with teams of similar ability be they seconds, thirds, or fourths.

A fully open league structure across all 2018's eleven sections would remove the obstacle to progress that dogged the Union through the 50's and 60's acknowledged in the Union's own Centenary Brochure:-
'One of the barriers to progress had always been the fear of senior clubs losing status through relegation and this fear conditioned their attitude to any proposed change.'

In 2018 should we not be taking the first step to remove the final obstacle that prevents teams and players competing at the highest level their ability allows?