Cricket league saga rumbles on as new season looms

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Mystery continues to surround the future of cricket’s Notts Premier League (NPL) -- little more than a month before the new season is due to start.

The NPL, in which Dispatch district sides Rolls-Royce Leisure and Papplewick and Linby played last season, was thrown into chaos over Christmas.

For all bar one of its officials resigned in protest at a decision, by an independent panel, to re-instate Mansfield Hosiery Mills after they had been thrown out for allegedly making illegal payments to one of their players.

It meant only four of the 12 places on the league’s management committee could be filled, forcing the Notts Cricket Board to take temporary control.

Since then, rumours have been awash about splits and breakaway leagues, with some clubs threatening to refuse to play Hosiery Mills this coming summer.

The Dispatch understands a compromise has been reached. And an announcement could be made after a special meeting to be held tonight (Thursday). But the only information from the league so far has been this statement:

“The Notts Cricket Board and the interim Premier League committee are aware of speculation regarding the 2014 season.

“Since the league’s AGM in December, all parties have been involved in detailed discussions, and a conclusion that will be accepted by all is very close.

“Until these discussions are concluded, the Board do not believe it is appropriate or helpful to make public the nature of the discussions or possible outcomes. As soon as agreement has been reached, a shared statement will be issued.”

If the season goes ahead as it should, it will start on Saturday 26th April when John Birch’s Rolls, who were runners-up last term, entertain Notts CCC Academy and champions West Indian Cavaliers begin the defence of their title at home to Kimberley.

Papplewick finished bottom last season and were relegated to the Bassetlaw League.