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Welcome to the 2016 season, and important information for the season ahead

20th April 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all well and looking forward to the 2016 Blind Cricket season, which starts on Saturday.

So, what’s new for 2016?

New Names

Durham VICC have a new name, they are now Durham Vipers.

All of the Development Leagues have been renamed as Regional Leagues. Oh, and there are three of them this year, instead of two.

New Clubs

This is because Staffordshire Wolves have joined the North & West Regional League. Cheshire Cobras are also entering competitive cricket for the first time, in their case in a new cup competition.

New Cup

For 2016 a qualifying competition to win a place in the BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup has been established.

Four teams from the North and two from the South will battle it out to win a place in the National Level stages of the competition, with the winner drawn away against Northants Steelbacks in the quarter-finals.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If a player competes for any team in the Qualifying Competition of the BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup, they will not then be able to compete for a different team in the National Level Stages of the tournament.

New Venues

BCEW’s season-ending Twenty20 Cup Finals day will be staged at Wolverhampton Cricket Club for the first time on Saturday 24th September.

The BBS Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup Final also visits a venue new to blind cricket, the match will be held at Sir Paul Getty’s Cricket Ground on the Wormsley Estate in Buckinghamshire.

New Women’s Team

During 2015 John Garbett helped set up a women’s team featuring players from all across the UK to play international ball cricket.

This side played its first friendly match last season and will be pushing forward during 2016 to play six or seven matches against a variety of opposition during the summer.

The team is now called UK Women’s VI Cricket and you can follow their progress via the BCEW website and Twitter account (details further down the page.)

New Rules

There are two key rules differences for the 2016 season:

A. Fielder Exclusion Zones

Extract From BCEW Core Doc 2

(12.4.1) There will be a rectangular exclusion zone, marked with flat discs, extending to 18 inches on either side of the pitch and from a line level with the stumps to a line 4 feet beyond the popping crease.

(12.4.2) If any fielder enters this area before the ball has been struck it will be a no ball.

Additional Note: The umpires have been asked to let players know if they have accidentally strayed inside a zone (likely to happen with total fielders occasionally) before the bowler is ready to bowl, that way unnecessary no balls can be avoided.

B. Age Group Batting Rules

In all National Level cricket there are no age group batting rules any more, even an eleven year old High Partial would have to play under adult rules for that sight category. This includes the qualifying competition for the David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup.

In all Regional Level competitions all batsmen under the age of 13 will receive two bounces when batting & all 14 or 15 year old high partials will receive one bounce the same as mid partials.

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So what stays the same as in 2015?

BCEW Website

Throughout the season the BCEW website will continue to be the best source of information. In the National or Regional sections you’ll find full details of fixtures, results and league tables. We have also added a link in the main menu to a fixture list that covers all competitions after a successful trial of this idea during 2015.

The about section of the website also offers you the opportunity to find rules documents, umpire marking forms, teamsheet forms and scorecard templates if you have lost your copys of any of those documents. There is also a wealth of other current information in the about section on many topics as well as in depth historical information in the archive section of the site.

Twitter

On and around match weekends the best way to stay in touch with what’s happening is to follow @UKBlindCricket on Twitter. We will attempt to provide ongoing score updates from matches that are in play as well as results when games finish, but both do depend on the information being available and we do encourage clubs to tweet information during their matches so that we can share it with our nearly 1500 followers.

Umpires & Scorers Panel

Once again all match officials will be organised by either the BCEW Umpires or Scorers Panel. Welcome to all of the new umpires & scorers, best of luck to yourselves & all of the returning officials for the 2016 season and thank you all very much for your support of visually impaired cricket, it is very much appreciated by us all.

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Other Reminders

Wrist Bands

Players in the total sight category may now wear either a black or a purple wrist band. The other categories remain unchanged.

Dress Code

The wearing of shorts is now banned in all BCEW and BBS Cricket Competitions.

Stumping Low Partials

A low partial batsman can now be stumped in all BCEW and BBS Cricket Competitions.

Cricket Balls

We have good stock of blind cricket balls this season, so if you need to buy any that won’t be a problem, the price remains at £10 per ball.

Celebrating 10 Years of BCEW

You hopefully all know that BCEW was formed in 2006, so to celebrate the charity passing the ten year mark & to help promote blind cricket as a whole it has been scheduled that every team will play a match on the weekend of 21st and 22nd May. Further details on this will follow from John Garbett in the next few days.

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Conclusion

Blind Cricket is at its highest ever participation levels and is now by far the most played visually impaired sport. We have over 400 players, 22 teams across 19 counties, 4 league competitions, 3 cups and of course the BCEW Brian Johnston Memorial Trust Development Festival which will again take place at Leicester University in September with ten teams in attendance.

With so much to be positive about I would really like to have a season with no disciplinary hearings or investigations, so if you are unsure about any rule please check rather than making an educated guess and please do remember that whilst our game is competitive it is also regarded by many as a very friendly form of the game and whilst we all want to win it is also important to enjoy playing too.

I hope you all have a tremendous season.

Best Regards to you all,

From Dave Gavrilovic

Chairman
Blind Cricket England & Wales