Tolchards Devon Cricket League shock - Filleigh withdraw their first XI

PUBLISHED: 11:18 27 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:31 30 April 2019

The bails lie on the ground

The bails lie on the ground

PA Wire/PA Images

The Tolchards Devon Cricket League, which gets underway for a new season on the first Saturday of May, has been dealt a big blow with the loss of one of the 10 teams that make up the B Division.

Filleigh's withdrawal means the B Division will now operate with nine teams which also means a 16-game season (two fewer than it would have been) and that impacts on two East Devon clubs – Seaton and Kilmington – with the latter now starting their league season one week later than planned for they were due to host Filleigh on the opening day of the campaign (May 4).

What that also means – for Kilmington is that with matchdays two and three seeing them play away, they will not make their home bow in the third tier of Devon league cricket until the visit of Seaton on Saturday, May 25.

The Filleigh withdrawal news was announced on the Devon Cricket website (www.devoncricket.co.uk) on the final Saturday of April. The article was a statement from the Tolchards Devon league that read:

Filleigh Cricket Club – Statement by the Tolchards Devon Cricket League

Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend Filleigh Cricket Club approached the chairman of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League with a plea to withdraw their team from the B Division of the League.

This situation has arisen through either the departure, or unavailability in 2019, of over half of the first team squad from 2018. They have requested that they retain their club 2ndXI playing in the H Division (East) of the League. The club have also offered that any remaining first team players will not be played in the H Division (east) side.

In making the plea, the club recognise that their request runs contrary to article 3 of the League Constitution in that, in this situation, it is always the lowest place team that should be withdrawn from the League.

The League Executive have carefully considered the clubs approach, the timing of which has left little scope for any realignment of divisions.

The Executive believes that no purpose is served by exposing a young and inexperienced 2ndXI, playing in the H Division, to B Division quality cricket. We strongly feel that both the club and the League together have a duty of care towards these players.

Underpinning the issues at Filleigh Cricket Club is a club junior section that is not supporting adult cricket in a positive way. The League have discussed this with our partners at the Devon Cricket Board and a development plan for the next 5 years has been evolved. All partners are in the process of officially signing this agreement. The plan will be supported by both the Devon Cricket Board and the League.

Because of these arrangements, the League have agreed to the request of Filleigh Cricket Club. Their first XI will be withdrawn from the B Division with immediate effect, therefore that Division will only have 9 teams in it for the 2019 season. At the conclusion of the season only one team will be relegated from the B Division to ensure that Division is again balanced with 10 teams for 2020.

Clubs in the B Division were advised of these arrangements yesterday (Friday). A notice will go to all member clubs today (Saturday 27thApril). Filleigh Cricket Club regret this action was necessary and the inconvenience and disappointment it will cause to other member clubs.

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