Aire-Wharfe League rejects future move into Yorkshire pyramid structure

Beckwithshaw's Alexis Twigg plays into the legside during an Aire-Wharfe League match against Kirkstall
Beckwithshaw's Alexis Twigg plays into the legside during an Aire-Wharfe League match against Kirkstall

The Airedale and Wharfedale Cricket League has rejected a future move into the new Yorkshire pyramid system.

Members voted in favour of maintaining the league’s independence at a special general meeting on Monday night.

The Aire-Wharfe League has been isolated from the new structure, which came into effect at the start of this season, due to “extreme” difficulties in geography.

A league statement said: “The league is proud of the standard of cricket played and indeed of its clubs.

“In general the feeling was that there would be no benefit to the League as a whole in becoming part of the ‘system’.

“Any movement by the leagues top clubs to entry below the Premier League could be at best a sideways move or at worst a lower move.

“If the league did enter the pyramid system it may lose clubs and could find itself lowering standards which would not be to the benefit of the league.”

The county-wide pyramid system was introduced to replace Yorkshire League, which was disbanded at the end of last season.

Four Super Leagues - Yorkshire League North and South, the Bradford League and the North Yorkshire South Durham League - were set up with feeder leagues to allow for promotion and relegation and a county champion at the end of the season.

Knaresborough will become the first club to leave the Aire-Wharfe League since the formation of the pyramid system.

The Division Two club was accepted into the York and District Senior League earlier this month and will play in Division One from 2017.

The Aire-Wharfe Leagues are seeking applications from clubs to replace them in 2017.