LWC Drinks Cornwall Cricket League officials have praised clubs for their "enlightened thinking and support for the League and ECB" after a number of positive rule changes were embraced and voted in at the annual meeting, held at County Hall, Truro last week.

Out of 25 proposals, only two failed to be carried on the night.

In recent seasons the ECB have conducted a number of player surveys in a bid to understand the playing formats preferred by players in the recreational game, as numbers have declined countrywide.

The feedback has been a preference for win/lose and shorter games, earlier start times and less travel time.

The ECB’s ‘Get the Game On’ campaign advocates that leagues should provide formats that best suits players to deliver a 5-6 hour ‘perfect day’ game; allow for rain rules in order for matches to be completed; have flexible player eligibility rules and ensure that women's and girls' cricket is available.

The Cornwall League has been moving in this direction and the trend continues with a number of changes being endorsed by clubs to endeavour to make the game more attractive.

It was voted in that clubs can now mutually agree to bring forward a start time to as early as 11am.

Also, outside of the countywide divisions, the captains can agree to play a minimum of 20 overs per side if wished. This could see games concluded before any forecasted bad weather closes in.

Teams can also start 30 minutes later without a reduction of overs, either by mutual agreement or in the event of a delayed start.

Division 2 has been moved to Tier 2 so will play under the same format as Division 3. Matches will be of 45 overs, bowler restrictions will be 25 per cent of the available overs instead of 20 per cent and there will be no fielding restrictions. Divisions 2 and 3 East will start at 1pm while in the west clubs voted for 1.30pm.

Division 4 has been moved to Tier 3 so has a reduction from 45 to 40 overs, but 1.30pm starts remain. Divisions 5, 6 and 7 remain at 40 overs but will start 30 minutes earlier at 1.30pm. Bowling Restrictions remain at 25% of the available overs.

Other changes see a relaxation of player eligibility rules.

Points penalties will automatically apply for all conceded matches. Additionally, after issues last year, should a Premier or County 1 club concede there will be a £200 fine imposed.

Also a five-point penalty per player will be levied on any clubs fielding short sided teams in the top two divisions.

The definition of a higher level player has been revised to reflect involvement in his/her club's more recent matches; League administration rules are to be more flexible; eligibility criteria and a timeline introduced for promotion to the Premier and County 1 divisions and the annual rule proposals process will be streamlined, with the LMC taking greater control of the process.

Looking ahead to 2019, divisions 4 and below will comprise 10 instead of 12 teams, playing between May and August only.

The LMC will formulate the promotion and relegation scenarios required to achieve this for the lower divisions, and announce prior to this season commencing.

In the Premier League this year the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern (D/L/S) method will be used for the first time in all rain interrupted games. Premier clubs voted 9-3 in favour of its adoption. It will be the responsibility of the home club to make sure a competent person is available to calculate the ‘Target’ and make sure that the ‘Par’ score for the end of the over is correct.

A proposal to relax the ‘one current or former First Class player rule’ to exempt any player who has not played First Class cricket in the last 5 years was the other proposal that failed on the night in addition to a 1pm start in Division 2 & 3 West. The vote was 6-6 by Premier clubs but a clear majority is required to change any rule.

Jonathan Lambert and Mike Kent, who had filled vacant results administrator posts last year, were formally elected as Result Officers. Co-opted Management Committee members Chris Leathley (Helston CC) and Colin Phillips (Menheniot Looe CC) were also formally elected as full members.

All other officers were re-elected unopposed for 2018: President – C Rosevear; Chairman – A Kent; Vice-Chairman – D Eggins; Hon Secretary – K Goldsmith; Hon Treasurer – C Marsh; Operations & Media Officer / and Premier/ County 1 Results Secretary – M Weeks; Registration Secretary and East Results Secretary - J Lambert; West Results Secretary – M Kent.

The President, Clive Rosevear, made the following presentations. The ‘Lenny Lobb Fair Play Award’ for Premier clubs, marked by match umpires, was retained by Helston CC. The ‘Ron Fenton Fair Play Trophy’ for County Division 1 clubs was presented to Werrington seconds. The Archie Smith Trophy for the outstanding young player was won by Troon’s Lewis Goldsworthy while Elliot Dunnett (Wadebridge CC) won the Clive Osborne Trophy for the outstanding young eastern bowler.

Truro won the Bradley Trophy for the leading Premier League batting average scoring 3610 runs for the loss of 108 wickets, average 33.43. The Littlejohns Trophy for the lowest Premier bowling average was won by St Just taking 154 wickets for 2383 runs, average 15.47. The Division 4 & below (West) ‘Sporting Trophy’ for the highest batting average (10 inns or more) was won by Gareth Jones of St Day CC. He hit 557 runs at 79.57.

Thirteen year old William Jenkin of Helston CC, received the ‘Beecher Williams Trophy’ for the lowest bowling average in Divisions 4 & below (West). He took 36 wickets at just 5.78 apiece.

* The 2018 LWC Drinks Cornwall League fixtures have been published. Premier League champions Truro start their defence at Werrington on Saturday 21 April. Runners up St Just commence at Helston while last year’s other title contenders, Penzance, host St Austell. Redruth entertain Hayle and Wadebridge’s first ever Premier League fixture will be at home to Falmouth. The other promoted team, Camborne, travel to Grampound Road.

In County Division 1 two of the promoted team meet when St Erme host Launceston. Beacon return to the second tier with a home tie against Lanhydrock while Redruth seconds first ever venture at this level sees a trip to Roche. Elsewhere Gorran play Callington, Rosudgeon take on Newquay and Troon host Werrington seconds.

In Division 2 West Falmouth seconds entertain Paul on the opening day, Stithians host Gulval and St Gluvias visit Truro seconds. In Division 3 Perranarworthal take on St Buryan, Helston seconds are at St Ives and Mullion at Truro thirds. Constantine begin life in Division 4 at home to promoted Veryan, Wendron host Leedstown and St Gluvias seconds have a derby against Stithians seconds. Porthleven’s opening Division 5 game is at Camborne thirds. Mawnan’s season in Division 6 starts on 5 May at Leedstown seconds.

Full details of all the annual meeting's rule changes and the complete fixtures for all 13 divisions can be viewed at www.cornwallcricket.co.uk