Clubs in the Northern Cricket Union have agreed almost unanimously to a new league structure from the 2022 season.

Only three voted against the proposal which will see the Premier League revert to a 10-team league, with Section One continuing with their 18-match season while Sections Two and Three will merge.

As a result, for a second successive year there will be no relegation, with the top two in Sections One and Two both promoted.
After this year’s exclusively T20 action, the union are planning for a return to a ‘normal season’ in 2021 and 50-over cricket in both the top two tiers.
A separate proposal from Muckamore for Junior League One to revert to 50 overs, from 40 overs, was defeated.

Because of the Covid restrictions, the annual meeting was held by zoom with advance voting by proxy.
The chairman, Sam Beckett, who continues in the post for a second year, announced the outcome of the votes.

Among the other proposals passed, all Match 2s – the rearrangement of games postponed because of weather – will be a maximum of 20 overs and all cup ties will be decided by a maximum of two Super Overs, a second taking place if the first is tied. The number of wickets lost in either the match or Super Over will not come into consideration.

There was a change of office at the top with Carrickfergus’ Roger Bell assuming the president’s role and Brian Walsh was elected as vice-president, to take the higher office in 2023.

Meanwhile, Paul Stirling was dropped from the Dambulla Viikings side for their fourth group match in the Lanka (T20) Premier League yesterday.
Stirling came out of six days isolation and, perhaps unwisely, played immediately on successive days. The Ireland vice-captain faced just 12 balls for an aggregate of three runs.
The Viikings, who are second in the table after three wins, play their next game on Saturday.