A month after Dumbleton were crowned Jelf Gloucestershire Under 16 T20 champions, plans are already afoot to revamp the competition for next season.
Suggestions include introducing a fortnight-long window for each round of fixtures starting at the end of school exam periods. The initial stages of the competition could see more localised groups and a quarter final stage may be reintroduced.
Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) participation and growth officer Scott Tremain (pictured), who organises the tournament said the proposals were designed to improve player experience and ensure more matches are played in 2019.
He said: “There were a number of positives from last year’s Jelf Under 16 T20 competition including 22 more players taking part than in 2017 and the quality of cricket on show in the latter stages. However we recognise that too many group stage games were conceded and we want to address this for 2019.
“The new proposals are tweaks rather than wholesale changes and in doing things like avoiding school exam periods, providing windows for matches to played and increasing the number of teams that will go through to the knock out stages we hope it will reinvigorate the competition.”
The 2018 competition was won by Dumbleton in a showpiece final at their opponent’s Cheltenham CC’s Victoria Ground. The day included music and a barbecue and saw good numbers turn out to support the teams.
Batting first Dumbleton posted a total of 175 from their 20 overs with Robbie Hardwick topscoring with 53 (retired) off just 28 balls. Skipper Ed Bragg (20) and tournament topscorer Daniel Holland (29 off 20) also made important contributions before allrounder Will Gilderson smashed 25 off 16 balls (including three sixes) towards the end. Opening bowlers Jake Cropper (2-26) and Ben Johns (1-23) were the pick of the Cheltenham attack as wickets were shared around.
In reply a number of Cheltenham batsmen got starts but were unable to go on. Openers Nathan Rose-Innes (30) and Seb Blake (21) topscored as they put on a first wicket stand of 42 but from there the side lost regular wickets and eventually fell well short on 115-6. Aaron Tomson took 2-29 in a disciplined team bowling performance that saw five of the seven bowlers go for five an over or less. For the full scorecard go to http://gcbu16t20.play-cricket.com/website/results/3710360
The Under 16 T20 was launched in 2016 following feedback from clubs saying they wanted a tournament similar to the U19 T20 in order to stop players dropping out of club cricket after Under 15 level. The competition is played in coloured clothing, with a pink ball and teams are encouraged to create a vibrant atmosphere at their matches.