2023 Liverpool Echo Knockout Cup Withdrawal

As chair of this great club, it is with regret that I am having to write this post.

Like every club around the country we prepare before every season for our teams to compete on all fronts. This season has been no different and our 1st XI Captain, James Cole and his squad have made a great start to their campaign. We currently sit 3rd in the L&DCC Premier League, have won the ECB Vitality Club T20 Cup, and are through to the Area finals day of the same competition. Sunday 3rd September will also see the team travel to Emirates Old Trafford for the Lancashire Cup Final.

This Friday (11th August) we are due to take on Birkenhead Park for what would be the rearranged Liverpool Echo Knockout Quarter final, with the winner travelling on Sunday (13th August) to Upton CC for finals day. Sadly, the ECB Vitality National T20 Area finals day for which we are proudly representing the L&DCC is also scheduled for Sunday 13th August.

It is by no means a given that we will be progress through to the Liverpool Echo Knockout finals day, last week we had a fantastic game with Birkenhead Park where they pushed us to the wire, and the game could have easily have gone in ‘Parks favour.

But obviously we must look forward and plan ahead for all outcomes – Naturally, our 1st XI can’t be in 2 places at one time. Therefore earlier in the week we put a request in to the league committee to have the Liverpool Echo Knockout Finals day rescheduled, this has since been rejected, and we have been advised that we can choose to either fulfil the finals day fixtures with a mixture of 2nd & 3rd XI players, or not take part in finals day.

As a club, we are disappointed at the committees decision which we believe challenges the integrity of one of its long standing competitions. Whilst we don’t judge the standard of 2nd and 3rd team cricket, we do have a duty of care to all of our cricket members, and believe that it would not be safe to send a 2nd/3rd XI team to finals day where they are likely to face players of a professional/semi professional standard. With another 5 weeks left in the season, we feel that there are opportunities to be flexible with the calendar, and we thank our friends over at Wallasey who where willing to switch our Ray Digman cup fixture (So Finals day could be played August the 20th if we had beaten ‘Park) to a midweek T20 game which would free up space in the calendar.

Given that there appears to be no flexibility to fulfil our request, we are regrettably conceding our upcoming fixture with Birkenhead Park this Friday (11th August) – This given that we would be unable to fulfil the finals day fixtures on Sunday. By conceding the game, this now means that ‘Park can progress to finals day, and it will be a proper finals day, and not a 3 team round-robin.

We now see this mater as closed, and will not make any further comment on it.

Matt Gee

Northern Mens Cricket Chair.

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