The Saturday League fixtures have now been issued. As ever, there have been some significant challenges in compiling these, including the spread of different sides across divisions, ground availability and the CS play off date for Premiership. My thanks to Iain Kennedy our Administrator, and supporting committee members for the work involved in doing this. I note below some key points in relation to the fixture list.
The priority has been to play as many of the fixtures on Saturdays as possible, and moving games to a Sunday has only been done as a last resort.
We have used 20 weekends between late April and end August to maximise Saturday games. In particular, Division 1 is starting and finishing a week later than the Premier League, due to ground availability issues in late April. One Premier Reserve Division game is being played on the 20th of April. Some Division 4 fixtures will also be on 31st August. This is quite similar dates to many previous seasons. The Premier League has to start and finish earlier due to the very early date of the CS play off this year.
One result of this is that there are some sequences of home or away fixtures, and also occasional Saturdays when some clubs will have both teams away from home. This is an unavoidable consequence of the constraints noted above. We have tried to minimise this.
On a positive note, West of Scotland CC have entered a 3rd XI to the Saturday League this season, and Hamilton Crescent will be participating in Division 4. Thanks to Stirling County for their willingness to make their second ground available to them and to East Renfrewshire pending completion of their new square.
As there are a few cases where lower XIs of a club will be playing on a date when a higher XI is not, we would like to remind clubs of what is expected here. Clubs should not be selecting players from a higher XI which has played the day before, and the playing regulations will be amended to reflect that this year. Similarly, for those fixtures on 31st August, particularly the Premier Reserve League, the CMC do not expect to see selections which abuse the spirit of cricket or the rules of our competitions by selection of players from a higher team. Whilst some allowance can be made for form, availability and injury, the CMC will monitor team selections in these cases and take action where they consider a club has not made a ‘bona fide’ selection. If in doubt, clubs should consult the Administrator in advance.’
Duncan Paterson, Chair CMC.