THE Bradford Junior League have opted not to use the Incrediball for under-nines cricket this season.

The ball, which has a raised seam, has been recommended by the ECB for this age group.

However, it is classified as a hard ball and would therefore require batters to wear not only pads and helmets, but also gloves and boxes.

Buttershaw St Paul’s representative Ian Gregson said at the league’s pre-season meeting at Cleckheaton Sports Club: “I cannot believe that the Incrediball is classified as a hard ball.

“Under-sixes and under-sevens cannot hold their heads up if they wear a helmet, while even half of the under-11s cannot run with pads on.”

Other options discussed by the junior league were the windball (soft plastic) or the All Stars ball (used by five to eight-year-olds), and the league opted for the latter.

The league are now looking into getting a supply of the balls to give to clubs that do not currently have them.

Meanwhile, league chairman Phil Radcliffe revealed that Farsley and Bolton Villas would be merging their under-15 teams as they do not have enough players to operate as separate entities.

He said: “The merged team will play Bolton Villas’ fixtures, while the teams that were due to play Farsley will have a blank date.

“It is the best solution that we could come up with, and it means that Saltaire will have a bye in the cup as they were due to play Farsley.

“Bolton Villas’ cup fixture will be played at Farsley, which will mean that each ground will host three fixtures.”

He added that Undercliffe were earmarked to stage the under-nines and under-11s cup finals on August 18, while the league were open to offers to stage the under-13 and under-15 cup finals.

The league have entered teams at under-11, under-13, under-15 and Joe Lumb (under-17) level, and the under-11s will have trials at Bradford Park Avenue on Sunday, April 28 (2pm-4pm).