RICHARD Webster has stood down as treasurer of the Mewies Solicitors Craven League after almost 30 years' service.

He will be replaced by former chairman Chris Todd, with Martin Burgess taking over as chairman and Richard Smith coming in as vice-chairman.

In his annual chairman's report, Todd said: "To say that it has been a testing time for the past two years would be an understatement.

"Thanks to Richard Webster for his work as treasurer and thanks to Peter Foster for what was a baptism of fire."

League secretary Foster said: "It happened and we got through it."

Meanwhile, a rule change proposal to reduce the number of overs in Division Four has been defeated.

Bradley's proposal to cut the overs bowled per innings from 40 to 35 received eight votes for and 19 against after an electronic vote, revealed Foster at the league's annual meeting, which was held by Zoom.

The only other vote was for an updated constitution, taking into account new positions on the league's management committee, which was passed 27-0.

Martin Seward was also thanked for his help with the Play Cricket system.

In his annual report, Foster wrote: "To say this past season was one to forget as far as cricket is concerned is a dramatic understatement and, on reflection, possibly the worst one any of us can ever remember."

For starters there were three named storms that hit the country in February and March, creating problems for groundsmen, with several Craven League grounds underwater for several weeks.

Herculean efforts meant that grounds were ready for the start of the season, although some understandably requested an away match for the first week.

Then along came Covid-19 to wipe out the season until July 18.

Foster wrote: "Clubs took to the new regime very well on the whole. Unfortunately it has to be said there were one or two exceptions who simply ignored the provided information and had to very quickly put their house in order before a game could take place - but after the first couple of weeks the league settled into a 'new normal'."

He added: "There was a foreseen problem which affected panel umpires, most of whom are of a certain age, and it became clear that the number of standing umpires was going to be low on account of the virus.

"I would like to express my thanks to those club umpires who stepped up and officiated."

In early August there was a spike in cases in the Pendle region of Lancashire and in Bradford.

Foster wrote: "This was a double whammy, a super threat. With high instances of Covid infection in the extreme west and east of our region, and the ever-present duty of care the league owes to all member clubs, it was thought the situation was worsening to such a degree that sooner or later it would impact on the health and well being of member clubs.

"The decision was taken to suspend play for two weeks, giving the situation time to come under control and subside."

The league dinner, club dinners and presentations all went by the board in the autumn, and Foster added: "I want to be positive and express my thanks, and the thanks of the entire executive committee, for your ongoing commitment to cricket, playing a competitive shortened season against the odds, going along with the sometimes difficult decisions that had to be made, and any complaining that you did was well out of earshot.

"Have a great Christmas and see you in 2021 for an April start - fingers crossed."