CRICKET chiefs have decided there will be no promotion or relegation this season – when or if the new campaign gets underway.

Both the Vivio Cheshire County League and UK Fast Cheshire League have confirmed this position, while also outlining that this month’s scheduled start to the 2020 term is suspended until safe to consider starting – in line with Government regulations surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and current UK lockdown.

The clubs impacted locally are Toft and Alderley Edge in the ECB Premier League, Mobberley and Lindow in the county league Division Two, while Knutsford, Wilmslow, Styal, Holmes Chapel, Over Peover are UK Fast Cheshire League clubs affected.

The suspension applies to all levels and ages of recreational cricket.

In addition all games in the Cheshire Cricket Board-sponsored Cheshire Cup and Shield knockouts – due to have commenced in early May – have been suspended.

In an e-mailed notification issued to all county league clubs chairman David Humpage said: “The April management meeting – at which handbooks, fixtures, cricket balls and other key information about the new season is normally provided – has been cancelled. The large supply of balls, provided by Readers, has also been discontinued.”

He added: “All clubs in the league will be hugely disappointed, but I am sure that we all recognise that the decision was inevitable given the nationwide concern at the playing of sport in the UK at the moment.

“Questions are being asked in the media, but noone knows when we can even consider a starting date, as we must obey Government instructions.

“We will have to make a decision later about what to do according to how much time is left.”

League officers agreed that in view of the limited amount of cricket there will be time for in 2020, all the league divisions will recommence in April, 2021, from the positions held at the end of the 2019 season.

Humpage concluded: “Making such a decision early allows member clubs to assimilate the many elements impacting agreements with their players and to maintain our many excellent grounds in good shape.

“We also remind all to consider the financial impacts all this will have on clubs both large and small. These unique times are making life difficult for club cricket, but you can rest assured that the league officers will be attempting to guide clubs as clearly and as early as possible.”