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The New Balance Greater Manchester Cricket League | Est 2016 | an accredited ECB Premier League





2021 Season Rule Amendments & Adapted Play Regulations

2 Apr 2021


This note includes

  • The rule changes that were announced at the AGM2020 prior to Covid by way of reminder,
  • Some additional rule changes that have come from developments over the shortened 2020 season and
  • Some reminders of the key pre Covid in play rules
  • Covid Adapted play rules for 2021 at the foot of this page - these remain subject to further changes

Player Eligibility & Registration

  • ECB Player Categories have now changed - see revised rule 7 here, there are now just 2 main categories of player (those normally living in the UK (category 1) and those not normally living in the UK (category 3). There is no category 2.or category 3E. Basically category 3 players can only play in 1st team. Only two category 3 players can play in 1st team of whom no more than one is a paid or professional player.
  • cricHQ registration is required annually by all players
  • Player registration deadline for players who have played first class or list A in last 3 years or are non-qualifying players is now 31 May not 31 July deadline for to bring in line with overseas pro deadline.
  • Player Matches Played tally - Rules to clarify that matches where no play takes place do not count in any match tally rules for eligibility.
  • Starred Players - Junior exemption does not now apply in the cups and is changed in the league from U18s to U17s who must not have played county at age group U16 or above in the current or previous 2 seasons
  • 1st XI Cups - Professionals, Paid Players & Non-Qualifying Players - Quarter Final and beyond - a player (who has played 1st class or list A in the last 3 years or is not eligible to play for England) can only play if they have played 4 or more senior matches for the club (not GMCL20) (doesn’t apply to a properly appointed deputy pro)
  • Sunday cups - after round 1, if a player has played any 1st XI or 2nd XI can only play in Sunday cups if played at least 50% of own personal league games in the Sunday teams (change from 50% of all third team league games. Unstarred players who have not played any 1st XI but is solely barred because of this rule can play in the Sunday cup if 2nd XI cup on same day and either the matches are in the same round or he didn’t play in the equivalent round of the 2nd cup
  • If any club plays an ineligible player(s) in a game, then in addition to losing all points from the game there is an additional 5 point deduction ( Board able to award further penalties for multiple breaches)
  • Applications for Exemptions – this has become the norm for lots of clubs rather than the exception and has to stop. There will be no applications for exemptions allowed in the Cups or GMCL20. In the league, limited exemptions will be allowed on Sundays. A Club can make just 2 applications in the season to play an ineligible player (and must show the reason that no eligible players are available and that they propose to  play the least qualified ineligible player (must be done by Thursday 8pm). In addition, in the Sunday league an emergency ineligible player can be played in 2 instances only in the league. A player playing as a result of application for exemption or emergency cannot be a list A starred player, cannot bowl and must bat after every u18 and in any event no higher than 7.
  • There will be more analysis of starred players to make sure so far as possible clubs are respecting the system. Clubs will be allowed not to star a player who would ordinarily be starred if he commits to only playing on a Sunday, and if this is then breached he will automatically revert to being starred.
  • Sunday Development Division – no starred player can play even if a Junior Exempt Player. At least 8 players per team must be under 21 on the date of the match.

Professionals and Deputy Professionals

  • Clubs engaging a Named Professional must supply a copy of the Named Professional's contract (redacted for financial details) to the league before the start of the season otherwise the club is barred from having any deputy professionals
  • If a named professional is late arriving into the UK, a club can have deputy pro until and up to the 4th league fixture, then not permitted until the named pro is in the UK and available for selection – see date extension in Covid regulations.
  • Clubs wishing to have a deputy professional for a player recall must show evidence of recall from international or county equivalent board (if the contract submitted to the league shows the return is contracted then the club cannot have a deputy professional from the contracted). From 2021 onwards this will not apply to recall for List A or non-international "T20s".


League Matches

Match Lengths

  • Prem 1, Prem 2, Championship, Div 1 and Divs2 – 50 over matches
  • Divs 3 and 4 – 45 over matches
  • Sunday – all competitions 40 over matches

Overs Maxima per bowler

  • Saturday competition remains at no more than 30% (15 overs in 50 over matches and 14 overs in 45 over matches)
  • In the Sunday competition no more than 10 overs (25%) per bowler

Bonus Points

  • No change. No bonus points can be awarded in any reduced overs game. The current structure is simple and understood. Other leagues have more complex rules. Absolutely impossible to change if game interrupted. Looked at whether possible to  allow bonus point if a game is only reduced before the start by a small number of overs. Any cut off is arbitrary and can create “bias” between bat and ball. Also has become apparent that CricHQ are unable to create a fix for this.

League Rules

  • League Wides - automatic legside wides in Premier League down to and including Division 3 (i.e. not in division 4 or any of the Sunday league)


Cup Matches

Cup Names

  • 1st XI Championship Cup is now the 2nd Tier 1st XI Cup and
  • We are delighted to confirm that the lower tier 1st XI Cup is now named the John Barrow Trophy in recognition of our umpire and organiser who passed away recently who spent many, many years umpiring and organising cricket at the lower levels of league cricket.

Overs Maxima per bowler

  • Cup Matches 20% (9 overs in the 45 over cup matches for 1st and 2nd teams, 8 overs in the Sunday Cups)

Cup Rules

  • Cup Wides - automatic leg side wides in 1st and 2nd team cups but NOT Sunday Cups
  • Championship Cup - pink ball to be used and coloured kit to be allowed but not mandatory
  • All no balls regardless of the reason shall be followed by a free hit



  • All games return to 20 over games
  • Reserve dates for knockout rounds have been prvided where possible
  • There are fines for clubs forfeitting matches
  • The Board can refuse entry to a club deemed to have disrespected the GMCL20 in the past


In-Play Rules


If a captain or a deputy is not available half an hour before start then they automatically lose the toss


Match Forfeits and Fines

  • There is no change - board can resolve to permit a forfeit in exceptional circumstances in the Sunday competition


Ground Standards

  • There is a separate Grounds & facilities document.
  • Pre-season inspections and in season reports will be generated for the 2021 season
  • Non-compliance with the requirements will be enforced from the end of the 2021 season – non-compliance can lead to a restriction on promotion or to relegation



  • If a club fails to have a scorer, it must pay the other scorer £25 on top of what he gets from his own club, on the day




  • Premier League and Premier League 2 £50
  • Championship, Division 1 and Division 2 £45
  • Remaining Saturday Divisions £40
  • All Sunday Divisions £35
  • GMCL20 £30
  • Cup Games all £45
  • In ALL games, umpires fees are to be paid at the toss and the teams should pay one umpire each.


Club Umpires

  • Club Umpires are required for 2nd XIs in Division 2, and Club Umpires are required generally for Divisions 3 and 4.
  • Club Umpires are also required for the Sunday Development Division. As these games are primarily for the development of younger players at the clubs then suitably qualified club coaches may umpire these games.
  • If a club breaches a rule requiring it to have a club umpire then it must pay the other attending umpire 1.5x the usual divisional fee. So for example if in a game where 2 club umpires are required, club A’s umpire attends but club B’s does not, then club B pays Club A’s umpire 1.5x the usual fee


League Placings

  • One element of the decision on determining the order of clubs is the head to head results. This is dropped from 2021 season
  • See Rules 21.3, 21.4 & 21.5



As a result of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and following receipt of the ECB Guidelines the Board sets out the limited number of changes for the 2021 season as follows:



The aim is to have as normal and full as season as possible.

Should the government roadmap on Covid change for any reason the Board reserves the right to make appropriate changes to the season’s arrangements.


For now the following shall apply :

1) Divisions to have promotion and relegation as per the 2021 Season Document with pre Covid length matches, namely

a) Prem, Prem 2, Championship, Div1, Div 2 - 50 over league matches

b) DIvs 3 and 4 Saturday - 45 over league matches

c) Sunday - 40 over league matches

d) 1st XI and 2nd XI Cups - 45 overs

e) Sunday Cups - 40 overs

f) GMCL20 - all 20 overs

For clarity the legside wide rules return to the pre Covid position, namely automatic legside wides in all league, cup and GMCL20 competitions except for Sat Divs 4, all Sunday League games and all  Cup games for 3rd teams and below.

Where automatic legside wides apply, if in the opinion of the umpire the striking batsman changes or attempts to change his stance to attempt to play a switch hit (ie a shot attempted to be played left handed by a batsman who is normally right handed or vice versa and NOT a reverse sweep) then for that delivery the automatic legside wide rule shall not apply.



a) The latest ECB guidance for adapted play must be followed before, during and after games.

b) Please note in particular the following that differs from professional cricket regulations –

c) No sweat or spit on the ball

d) Maintain social distancing. For wicket celebrations – no handshakes, fist bumps, hugging or the like. Similarly at the end of the game when acknowledging the other team



a) There will be a 20 minute interval between innings (10 minutes in GMCL20).  

b) As there will be sanitisation breaks during innings in line with the ECB guidelines, Umpires are to give 15 minutes leeway (league and cups) (reduced to 6 minutes leeway for GMCL20)  for the times of innings over the usual innings’ lengths, before reporting slow over rate or applying the relevant in game sanctions.



a) For 2021 only, the following replaces Rule - If a registered Named Professional (a copy of whose signed contract (only redacting financial details) has been lodged with the league prior to the start of the season) does not arrive in the UK and/or play for reasons relating to Covid 19 (including travel restrictions, quarantining or isolating on 1st entry into the UK, or the increased costs associated with travelling and complying with Covid 19 regulations) then the club involved will be allowed to engage a deputy professional up to and including 31st May 2021 (but not GMCL20)

b) All other Rules relating to the engagement of deputy professionals remain in place.



a) As we are playing a competitive season in 2021 there is a change to the 2020 covid regulations in that only the league has the authority to call off games upon consideration of the submitted details of a Covid situation faced by either club to
club-director@gtrmcrcricket.co.uk . The league may call for additional supporting information. Attempts to unfairly benefit from the situation will not be tolerated.

b) The rain panel rules (Rule 19) returns to the pre-Covid arrangements – namely it can only be used in the Sunday leagues and Division 3 and below on a Saturday 

2 Apr 2021