ECB re-structure expected to hit Scarborough

Andrew Gale (above) leading his Yorkshire side out at Scarborough CC's North Marine Road.
Andrew Gale (above) leading his Yorkshire side out at Scarborough CC's North Marine Road.

Scarborough Cricket Club could be affected by changes to the structure of the domestic game announced this week by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Traditionally, the iconic North Marine Road ground hosts an early-season Championship fixture before a bumper week of four and one-day action later in the year as part of the Scarborough Cricket Festival.

That looks unlikely now as all three domestic competitions will be re-shuffled from next year, with Division One of the County Championship being reduced to eight teams, meaning two less four-day fixtures for Yorkshire.

The Royal London One Day Cup will be squeezed into the opening months of the season to make way for a block of T20 Blast action later in the year.

Scarborough CC chairman Bill Mustoe admits he’s expecting to see changes.

“At the moment we get two of eight home games, it’s highly likely that number would go down to one,” he said.

“Maybe we could get a T20 Blast game later in the summer, we’ll have to wait and see.

“The ECB and Yorkshire both want to protect first class cricket in Scarborough.”

THE KEY CHANGES

* County Championship Division One reduced to eight teams, with two less fixtures for the 2017 season.

* Royal London One Day Cup to be played between late April and May, with the final at Lord’s on the first Saturday in July.

* T20 Blast to be played in July and August, with the Finals Day to close the one-day campaign.

Yorkshire will only have seven home Championship games in 2017, which means Scarborough would be likely to miss out on their usual allocation of two four-day games.

Mustoe added: “We’ve known this was coming for a while and have been working closely with Yorkshire and the ECB to minimise the impact it has on us,” he said.

“I was down at the ECB in January with chairman Colin Graves, who it is worth noting is Scarborough president in 2016, and they’ve been great.

“Although we are contracted to have 10 days of first class cricket, there is a clause for a change of league structure, much like this one.”

“No decision has been made as yet,” added Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur.

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Scarborough and the ECB and now the new structure is public we will be sitting down with SCC and a decision is expected after the board meeting in April.

“Scarborough is still the jewel in the crown and is revered by members and players alike.”

Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale is hoping his trips to Scarborough won’t be reduced. He said: “It’s a great ground and we get good results there. Our record at Scarborough is fantastic and people don’t like playing us there.”