'Extreme difficulties' in geography isolates Aire-Wharfe League from Yorkshire pyramid system

Beckwithshaw lost out in the title race to Otley in a pulsating final day of the Aire-Wharfe League last summer

Beckwithshaw lost out in the title race to Otley in a pulsating final day of the Aire-Wharfe League last summer

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The Airedale and Wharfedale Cricket League is facing the prospect of being frozen out of the new Yorkshire pyramid system.

The league, which houses established clubs Beckwithshaw, Bilton, Follifoot and Knaresborough in its ranks, has yet to sign an agreement to become a feeder league with the Yorkshire Cricket Board.

The YCB has formed four county Premiers to replace the Yorkshire League in 2016 including the Yorkshire League North, the Bradford League and South, the North South Durham League.

Initially, the Aire-Wharfe League understood it would become a feeder league to one of the Premier divisions.

However, it has now been offered promotion opportunities into the York and District Senior League and the lower Bradford Leagues.

Member clubs will be given a chance to vote on whether the league should join the structure in 2018.

They have been informed that the Premier League rejected the Aire-Wharfe's involvement due to “geographical locations providing extreme difficulties”.

League secretary Dave Alred said: "As a league, either way we will survive.

"We are a proud and strong league and most people accept that our teams play a good standard of cricket.

"You have to be careful that your league doesn't get swallowed up by the pyramid system and lose it’s independence.”

"We want all this sorted by the end of the season."