Rule 32 has to change, says Boast
CRICKET: Medite Suffolk Alliance chairman John Boast today admitted that rule 32 has to be changed.This is the one, brought in after the 2000 season, which effectively led to this month's demise of popular village club Holbrook.
By Elvin King
MEDITE Suffolk Alliance chairman John Boast today admitted that rule 32 has to be changed.
This is the one, brought in after the 2000 season, which effectively led to this month's demise of popular village club Holbrook.
"The league committee plan to make moves to get the rule changed at the next annual general meeting," said Boast. "It is a bad rule. Nobody is disputing that."
The rule was voted in by clubs to stop senior players from bolstering sides in the Alliance. It allows for just two 'senior' players to play in Medite League and Cup matches at any one time.
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The trouble has arisen because rule 32 states that a player is regarded as senior if he plays just one game in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship or the Suffolk Premier League.
Consequently, Holbrook found themselves thrown out of the cup after reaching the semi-finals and with the heart of their team ripped apart for league fixtures.
"We had no option other than to expel Holbrook from the cup after complaints from both Melton St Audry's and Waldringfield," added Boast.
"If we had not received any complaints they would not have been dealt with. What we did do as a league was to offer Holbrook the chance to complete their league fixtures continuing to use their 'senior' players. They chose not to go along this path."
Boast agrees that a radical rethink on Sunday cricket in the area needs to be made. "In my playing days clubs played up to 36 league games and around half were on Sundays," he said.
"Now it has all changed and players who still want to play Sunday cricket have had to look towards the Suffolk Alliance. The top leagues have virtually all their league games scheduled for Saturdays.
"If a player wants to play Sundays what does he do? He has to drop down a level or two. This has to be monitored, hence rule 32, however, it has to be modified.
"We have just four clubs from this area in the East Anglian Premier League, yet all recent changes have been made to suit them. It does not make sense."
Mel Phair from Tattingstone has contacted Ipswich area clubs with a view to starting up a new Sunday competition.
"Holbrook are the unlucky sufferers of the mess Sunday cricket in Suffolk is currently in. Something must be provided for Sundays," he said.
How sad to read in The Evening Star that Holbrook Cricket Club have been almost forced to fold up. Obviously it appears a rule has been broken, but to lose a
village team like Holbrook is almost unforgivable.
I have played against them many, many times and like all of us they tried hard and always wanted to win.
However, whatever the result they were always pleasant and friendly and always were most welcome opponents and visitors.
Holbrook did truly epitomise all that is good in village cricket and truly what the game is all about and I regarded them all as friends.
Bildeston Cricket Club,