MORLEY’S third team have withdrawn from the Dales Council League – hopefully just for one season.

League secretary Ron Mackenzie told the league’s latest executive committee meeting, which was held on Zoom: “Morley have asked to resign for this season because of doubts over both the availability of players and access to their ground at Morley Academy.

“As long as the club agree to pay their £30 annual fee to the league, we will treat it as a one-year suspension and they then won’t have to re-apply to join the league if they want to come back for the 2022 season.”

Morley thirds were semi-finalists in the Cawthorne Cup (for second teams) in 2019 –an event they had won two years previously by defeating Drighlington B by four wickets.

In 2019, Morley were 10th (next to bottom) in Division C but were as high as seventh in Division B as recently as 2017.

Meanwhile, doubts remain over the participation of Bradford Moor, who have yet to find a ground for the forthcoming season.

St Chad’s Broomfield fifths are also searching for a home venue, while New Farnley hope to share with Rodley at Tong.

League fixture secretary Ken Firth said: “We could have 34 teams, which would mean 12 each in the top two divisions and 10 in Division C, but we just don’t know yet.”

The ideal scenario in a playing sense would be for an April 17 start and a full complement of 45 overs per innings.

However, the league are awaiting advice from the Government and the ECB, and it is more likely that the 2021 campaign will begin under strictures like closed clubhouses, sanitisation breaks every six overs and no teas (unless you bring your own).

Mackenzie said: “Whatever number of overs we start the season (it was 40 for the shortened 2020 campaign) with for each innings, that is what we will continue with for the remainder of the season.”

Some clubs within the league have suffered waterlogging recently and the volunteers at Shipley Providence (where the cellar has again been flooded), Tong Park Esholt’s Low Springs ground and Savile Stars will be hoping for a dry spring.