Sussex Cricket League's August Cup play-off plans revealed

The Sussex Cricket League have announced their plans for the August Cup Play-offs.

Thursday, 20th August 2020, 6:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th August 2020, 6:18 pm

Forty two groups have been playing since August 1 in groups of six.

And now the winners and runners-up from those groups know the format for Saturday September 5 and Saturday September 12.

In an email to all clubs, Gary Stanley, Chair of the 1st Central Sussex Cricket League, said: "When we organised the August Cup, we said that some form of 'play-offs' or finals event in early September would be explored to see what was viable.

Luke Wells in action for Brighton against Three Bridges in Group A1 of the August Cup. Picture by James Western

"We have now agreed on what will happen at the respective levels. Matches will be played on Saturday 5th and Saturday 12th September. I would remind you again that, like the August Cup in general, this is all pretty informal. There are no trophies or awards, it is just some extra competitive (and hopefully fun) cricket as a reward for successful teams. "

Here is the format:

Groups A1 and A2

5th September - The winner of group A1 will host the runner up of group A2 and the winner of group A2 will host the runner up of A1.

12th September - The winners of the above matches will play in a final at a neutral venue to be confirmed.

Groups A3 and A4

5th September - The winner of group A3 will host the runner up of group A4 and the winner of group A4 will host the runner up of A3.

12th September - The winners of the above matches will play in a final at a neutral venue to be confirmed.

Groups A5 to A8

5th September - The winner of group A5 will play the winner of group A6 and the winner of group A7 will play the winner of group A8. In each case, the team with the better group record (points then net run rate) will have first option to host.

12th September - The winners of the above matches will play in a final at a neutral venue to be confirmed.

The idea in the A Groups is that we end up with three nominal 'champions' at the three different levels, which roughly equate to our Premier, Division 2 and Division 3/4.

Groups B1 to B12

5th September - The twelve group winners will be paired into six matches by the Cup organising committee, on the basis of location and ability. The team with the better group record will have first option to host each match. The pairings will be advised by Monday 31st August, following the last round of group matches.

12th September - The six winners of the above matches will be paired by the organising committee based on what would likely produce the best games of cricket and three finals will take place at neutral venues. Again, we'll end up with three nominal 'champions'.

C Groups

5th September - The twenty two group winners will be paired into eleven matches by the Cup organising committee, on the basis of location and ability. The team with the better group record will again have first option to host each match. The pairings will be advised by Monday 31st August, following the last round of group matches.

In the C groups, we felt that location and ability discrepancies would probably get too wide if we tried to arrange a further round of matches on 12th September, therefore we will stick to just the one extra round.

Things to note

- Six neutral venues are required for matches on 12th September. I did previously ask for clubs to advise their willingness to host a fixture on this date (regardless of their involvement in it). Thus far, I have received positive responses from Preston Nomads (2 pitches), Horsham and Newick. Thank you to those clubs (please let me know if the situation has changed) and apologies to any who responded but are not listed. Please can any other club willing to host a match on 12th September now advise asap. We could really do with one in the West and one in the East, but any are appreciated.

- Remember this is all completely optional. If you are in the running to be involved on 5th September but cannot or do not want to play on that date, please let me know. We would simply take the next best team from your group in that case.

- If the nominated home team cannot host on 5th September, the other team gets the option. In the unlikely event that neither team can host, we will endeavour to find a suitable neutral site. Therefore, if you are in the running to be involved on 5th September but know that your ground will not be available, please advise asap.

- The umpire arrangements for 5th September will be the same as for group matches - if you are in a group where allocated / panel umpires are officiating, this will also be the case on 5th September. We will provide panel umpires for the six matches on 12th September.

- Rather than imposing strict eligibility rules, we are trusting non-1st XIs who qualify for the play offs to field similar strength sides as they did in the group matches. We are taking the trouble to organise games (in the B and C groups) between teams that should be closely matched. We will NOT be amused if you turn up with half of a higher XI who didn't qualify and neither will your opponent!

- No new registrations or transfers of registrations will be allowed for September matches.