Wet weather forces a delayed start for EAPL cricket season

WET OUTLOOK: Sudbury's Friars Street ground, under dark skies, will now not be the venue for Sudbury to begin their title defence after the EAPL season was put back a week
WET OUTLOOK: Sudbury's Friars Street ground, under dark skies, will now not be the venue for Sudbury to begin their title defence after the EAPL season was put back a week

The impact of the prolonged bad weather has led the management committee of the East Anglian Premier League to delay the season's opening round of fixtures by a week.

Clubs including the likes of champions Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and the newly amalgamated Burwell & Exning, were due to get their 2018 seasons under way a week on Saturday (April 14).

But with a raft of friendlies originally scheduled for this weekend having had to be cancelled, and concerns about grounds being ready in time, the league's management committee have decided to put the opening round of fixtures as the final matches, allowing clubs to start a week later on Saturday, April 21.

A statement released by the league through secretary Andy Abbott today said: "With the weather continuing to play havoc with pitch and ground preparation several are still under water this morning and there are no signs of a prolonged period of drying weather.

"The management committee have taken the unusual step of consulting the clubs and they have given a clear mandate to effect a change.

"They have therefore decided to extend the season by one week to Saturday, September 15. The EAPL season will now commence on Saturday, April 21.

"All the games scheduled for Saturday, April 14 will be postponed and will now be played on the last day of the season.

"The promotion play-off semi-finals will now be held on Sunday, September 16 with the final on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday 23."

It means Sudbury, who were due to start their title defence at their Friars Street ground (pictured), will now open up in a tasty-looking derby at Bury St Edmunds.

Burwell & Exning will play their first competitive game as a club away from home now, with a trip to Horsford, while Mildenhall will now start their 2018 campaign at Wamil Way, with Swardeston visiting (all 11am starts).