The Northern Ireland Assembly's recent announcement of a slightly earlier resumption for team sports is good news for North West cricket clubs as they are now set to start their competitive 2020 season from 18 July.

The local Union has remained active behind the scenes and following the update from Stormont, the NWCU contacted clubs to advise of the re-start plan.

All 15 senior clubs have committed to the senior T20 competition which will see four regionalised groups play a round robin tournament with teams then proceeding to a semi final/final of a cup competition depending on their finishing positions in those groups.

Fixtures will be released to clubs at the start of July, however the respective groups have now been finalised. Group 1 will only have three teams because of logistics, albeit they will still have six group matches each.

Coleraine, Ballyspallen and Eglinton make up the trio and they will play each other three times instead of twice.

Group 2 will include St Johnston, Newbuildings, Glendermott and Brigade with Group 3 featuring Strabane, Fox Lodge, Burndennett and Bready.

Ardmore, Donemana, Bonds Glen and Killyclooney will make up the final quartet.

Teams in those latter groups will play each other on a home and away basis.

Matches will take place on Saturday afternoons starting at 2pm and because of restrictions, only one match can be played by any team on any one day. That rules out the opportunity in previous years where teams could play one opponent at 12 noon and then another at 4pm.

The Union is however in discussion over the possibility of bringing at least one of the first weekend games forward to the Friday night, 17 July, which is the Assembly's actual revised start date.

The NWCU is also now in the process of arranging a pre-season Zoom meeting with team captains and clubs' Covid Compliance Officers to outline the processes that need to be in place before, during and after games.

The seven-a-side midweek competitions are also proving popular and these, as well as the Women's and Youth competitions are expected to get under way in the week following the start date.

Further updates will follow in due course.