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FOLLOWING a series of positive meetings between representatives of the Wintech Berkshire League, the Morrants Chilterns League and the Kookaburra Mid-Bucks League, agreement has been reached to launch a new ‘Championship Division’ League for the 2018 season.

It will comprise of five teams from the Berkshire League Premier Division and five teams from the Chilterns League Division One.

Matches will follow a 100 overs format with a championship decider match between the first and second placed teams at the end of the season.

Teams in contention for places in the new set-up include from the Berkshire League, Berks County Sports, Crowthorne & Crown Wood, Peppard Stoke Row, Ruislip Victoria, Sandhurst, Welford Park, West Reading, Woodcote and Woodley.

From the Chilterns League, sides such as Braywood, Chalfont St Giles, Harpsden, Ley Hill, Littlewick Green, Penn & Tylers Green and Pinkneys Green are in the mix.

The main criterion for selection will be the finishing place in the respective leagues at the end of this season, subject to providing satisfactory pitches, outfield and facilities.

Talks will continue between the three existing leagues with a view to even closer co-operation from 2019 with an important objective being to offer at least three different formats of Saturday cricket throughout, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and South Oxfordshire – namely, 100, 90 and 80 overs matches including win/lose and win/lose/draw alternatives throughout the season.

A T20 competition on Sundays and/or midweek is also under consideration.

As a result of this restructuring, there will be vacancies for new clubs or teams in all three existing leagues for 2018.

An expression of interest in joining these can be made by emailing secretary@thebcl.org (Berkshire League), rjhatters1@yahoo.co.uk (Chilterns League) and robinacarr@sky.com (Mid Bucks League).