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Greater Manchester Cricket League

Founded 2016

Rules Relaxations for 2020 Season

Rules Relaxations for 2020 Season

Rules Relaxations

This document provides a summary of the rules and playing conditions of the GMCL that have been relaxed for this shortened season. This note has been amended following issues raised by clubs at the recent Zoom meetings.

Q: What form of cricket will we play?

A: The ECB guidance proposes a short format but allows leagues to reach their own decisions.

We have decided that the formats will be as follows: -

  • Saturday and Sunday leagues – ALL played as 40 over league games with 10 overs maxima per bowler
  • 40 overs to be bowled within 2 hours 30 minutes with such further allowances (up to 40 minutes) as the umpires permit for any ECB required adapted play provisions. The interval between innings to be 20 minutes.

  • Automatic leg side wides – YES in Saturday divisions A to M inclusive – NO in respect of the remaining Saturday divisions and all Sunday divisions

  • DLS and max over reductions to remain as normal
  • Start times 1pm but then 12.30pm in September. Latest start time for reduced over games is 4pm (3.30pm in September) 
  • The points system to follow current league arrangements i.e. 5 points for a win, 3 for a tie, 2 for a draw, 0 for a loss (with a winning or losing bonus point on offer in accordance with current rules
  • All junior games to follow current league rules for each age group.
  • If after the start of the season, any club is affected by any Covid related matters (eg player symptoms, illness, required isolation, localised lockdowns or similar) such that it is unable to fulfil fixtures then it shall inform the league as soon as possible. There shall be no penalty on that club and all its fixtures during any such period shall not be played and shall be classed as abandoned matches with 2 points per participating team

Q: Will we play any GMCL20 cricket?

A: This is replaced by the GMCL15 competition, played midweek under the GMCL15 playing conditions already published separately

Q: What are the adaptive play rules and conditions?

A: all clubs will enforce the playing conditions determined by the ECB “adaptive cricket”:

Q: What happens in the event of bad weather?

  • Home clubs are able to call a game off up to 2 hours prior to the scheduled start for bad weather by informing the away captain and umpires. Rain panel umpires are not required to make this decision.

Q: What about the match balls?

A: League stamped match balls must be used. If teams from different normal divisions play each other the balls used shall be at least the standard of the lower division team.

Q: What will the outcome of the competition structure be for the GMCL?

A: There will be no promotion or relegation from our competitions this year, but we will recognise the winner of each division at the end of the season. Further details on what form this will take will be considered.

Q: Will we be penalised if we don’t take part?

A: No.

Q: Please can the league provide the information to allow us to register our players for this shortened season?

A: The Board has agreed that the new cricHQ registration process will operate without any fees for this season. The normal 31st July cut off date for registration of players will not apply.

Q: Can we register overseas players?

A: Overseas Players not currently in the Country will not now be registered to play in 2020. Overseas Players currently in the country will be approved to play subject to individual application to the League and subsequent approval.

Q: Will the leagues regulations on disciplinary matters apply?

A: Yes, normal arrangements will apply.  Whilst these are different conditions for our matches the last thing we want is any adverse behaviour and therefore all players should take to the field knowing they must respect the officials, respect the opponents and respect the game. 

All existing unsatisfied bans will remain in place and will start to recommence when the season restarts. So for example:

  • Those with X weeks bans left to run or X weeks ban suspended for Y weeks – the weeks of the bans or suspension periods left will start running when this season formally starts
  • Those with X weeks bans suspended for 2020 season – this suspension runs for the current 2020 season in whatever form it takes and ends at the end of the 2020 season
  • Those banned for the 2020 season – this bans runs for the remainder whatever form the 2020 season takes
  • Any club breaching the cumulative bans total which would ordinarily cause points deductions will not have those points deducted in 2020 but will start season 2021 with those points deducted

Q: What are the umpire arrangements?

A: The league will endeavour to have 2 league appointed umpires for divisions A to L on Saturdays and also as many league appointed umpires on Sunday as possible, with the remainder of games on Saturday requiring club umpires.

Umpires fees will be £40 for Saturday and Sunday league games and £30 for GMCL15 games (fee is half if no play).  

It is possible that games will have a combination of league appointed umpires, club umpires and adult players doing square leg duty.

In all cases the umpire costs for the day shall be shared by both teams home and away and paid at the toss. Each captain will hand over an envelope containing his club’s share of the fees in an envelope which has his team sheet written on it for the match (full names of all 11 players and also the age groups applicable for those u19) and signed by him by way of acknowledging that all the provisions on a normal ECB team card apply to the game.

Umpires fees are shared as follows :

  • If 2 league appointed umpires then each club pays 1 umpire
  • If 2 club umpires each club pays its own club umpire (at a rate that club has agreed with its club umpire)
  • If 1 league appointed and 1 club umpire then the club with the club umpire pays that umpire and the other club pays the league umpire
  • If one league appointed or club umpire and players doing square leg, both clubs share the cost of the umpire (umpire’s fee is 1.5 x the standard fee)

Q: What about scorers?

A : Each team to provide a scorer unless the two captains agree before the game that it can be scored by just the home team scorer.

Q: Are there any changes to the Player Eligibility Rules

A: In the 2020 season only, the starred player rules will not apply but the following will apply.

  1. Junior Exempt Players can play on a Saturday and Sunday without any restrictions whatsoever. 
  2. For the avoidance of doubt, no professional or other paid player or overseas amateur may play in the Sunday competition
  3. If a club has 2 teams on a Saturday and also one or more Sunday teams, then no more than 3 people (who are not Junior Exempt Players) who play for a club’s most senior team on a Saturday can play for that club in any of its teams on the Sunday of that weekend. 
  4. If a club has 1 team on a Saturday and also one or more Sunday teams, then no more than 6 people (who are not Junior Exempt Players) who play for the club on Saturday can play for that club in any of its teams on the Sunday of that weekend 
  5. In any event, clubs are expected only to use players referred to in 3) and 4) as a last resort. Clubs are expected to field appropriate players for appropriate games as part of their commitment to the spirit of the game and respect for their opponents.  If a club’s most senior team does not play a Saturday fixture for any reason then the eligibility criteria for the Sunday of that weekend for the purposes of paragraphs 3) and 4) shall be by reference to the players who had been selected by the club for the Saturday. The league appreciate this is open to abuse but clubs are asked to uphold the spirit of the game, respect their opponents and be fair to the players in their squads when making their selections.
  6. In addition to the above, in respect of the last 2 Sunday games, anyone (who is not a Junior Exempt Player) who has already played 2 first (ie most senior) team Saturday games cannot play in the last 2 Sunday fixtures unless the player has already played in 2 Sunday games. A match where there is no play does not count towards calculations under this paragraph 6

The league does not wish nor does it have the resources to micromanage the policing of these rules. Clubs are asked to participate in the spirit of the game and having regard to the fact that in 2020 the most important principle is getting some cricket played for as many participants as possible rather than the outcome of divisional tables.

The league reserves the right to take such measures as it considers appropriate against any club, which flagrantly breaches the letter or spirit of the rules.

Q: Can we Loan Players?

 A: Currently rules permits loan players from other clubs in GMCL only in divisions 3,4 and on Sunday.  This is extended in 2020 to all games (but not GMCL15 games where loan players are not permitted) provided:

  • No player who was a List A starred player in 2019 and no overseas or paid player (either in 2019 or 2020) can be a loan player
  • As with current rules the loanee club must get written permission from the parent club

The above represents unprecedented flexibility in unprecedented times. Clubs are asked to respect this and are expected to self police the appropriateness of the selections and loans they make.

Clubs are expected not to take loan players who are demonstrably used to playing at a higher standard than the loanee club. Clubs must prioritise their own players playing at the right level to maintain the integrity of their clubs and the game for the future.


We appreciate all the work that goes into the running of a cricket club and in these times the burden is increased. Please contact us if you require further clarifications and be assured we will do what we can as a League to support you in these unprecedented times.

Clubs are asked and are expected not to abuse these relaxations. Never more than ever is the spirit of cricket, the integrity of the game and its and clubs’ survival out of this crisis the paramount concern.